By: Eric Levenson
Former federal prosecutor Shanlon Wu is quoted in a CNN article in regard to the racketeering charge against R. Kelly. Shan praised the use of the racketeering charge, “It’s a very aggressive use of (racketeering) actually, which I commend, because it’s recognizing that for someone to have been an alleged abuser of so many other people that they have to have help.”
The disgraced R&B singer’s federal trial begins Wednesday in New York as he is accused of racketeering, a charge famously applied to mob leaders like Gotti and Bulger.
Robert Sylvester Kelly, 54, faces a bevy of accusations: one count of racketeering with 14 underlying acts, including kidnapping, forced labor and sex trafficking, as well as eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits sex trafficking across state lines.
Separately, he faces federal charges of sexual exploitation of children and other crimes by the US Northern District of Illinois and state charges in Illinois. He was previously acquitted of state child pornography charges in Illinois in 2008. Kelly has pleaded not guilty to all charges in New York and other jurisdictions.