R. Kelly's lawyer compares him to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr during sex abuse trial
R. Kelly's lawyer quoted the speech Martin Luther King Jr made on the day before he was assassinated
R. Kelly's lawyer has compared the rapper to famous civl rights activist Martin Luther King Jr in what made for a bizarre ending to his sex abuse trial.
The rapper's lawyer Deveraux Cannick made the comments yesterday (September 23) in an attempt to prove the singer's innocence as he stood trial against nine accusations of sexual abuse - seven from women and two from men.
The lawyer also claimed the accusers are hoping to exploit their newfound "fame" by signing lucrative deals which cash-in on R. Kelly and their involvement with him through the case.
“They’re monetising. They know what the game is. They’re surviving off of R Kelly,” Cannick said.
"I told you about Dr King and the people of courage for a reason... Getting a conviction of R Kelly is a big deal, but a bigger deal is fairness.”
During the sitting, Cannick was also quoting Luther King's historic "I've been to the Mountaintop" speech, saying: "Somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of the press."
Dr King's "I've been to the Mountaintop" speech was his last. Delivered in 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee, the day before he was assassinated on April 4, King was calling for non-violent protest and unity in Memphis. He was supporting workers who were demanding higher wages and safety measures after the deaths of two black men who were crushed by a malfunctioning truck.
Kelly is also being charged with exploitation, bribery, racketeering and coercion - but has denied all of the charges against him.
Cannick also claimed the rapper had treated the nine individuals like "gold," having bought them "bags more expensive than cars."
Prosecution lawyer Elizabeth Geddes hit back in defence of the accusers. “For decades, the defendant recruited and groomed women, girls, and boys for his own sexual gratification,” she said. “With the help of his inner circle, he slowly isolated his victims, set rules and exacted punishment.”
“It is time to hold the defendant responsible for the pain he inflicted on each of his victims. It is now time for the defendant to pay for his crimes. Convict him.”
The jury will now begin the process of deliberation and Kelly may be served with up to a 15 year prison sentence if he's convicted.
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