Photo: AFP via Getty Images
  /  09.23.2021

While making a closing argument in R. Kelly’s sex trafficking trial, the singer’s attorney made an interesting comparison between him and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. On Thursday (Sept. 23), Deveraux Cannick told the jury that Kelly is fighting to prove he’s guilty beyond reasonable doubt much like the civil rights leader fought for his constitutional rights.

According to Cannick, MLK led protests in America with hopes to uphold the Constitution and convince the US government to “be true to what’s on paper,” and practice equal and fair treatment to all citizens. “That’s all Robert is trying to do,” the attorney explained.

Amid the closing argument, Cannick also quoted King’s “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” address, reciting, “Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of the press.”

During the course of Kelly’s sex trafficking trial, the singer chose not testify, instead relying on a handful of witnesses, including his longtime assistant Diana Copeland, to defend him against allegations he abused underage women in his home. The prosecution, on the contrary, brought several individuals to the stand to share their experiences with the Chicago native, who they accused of recruiting them at a young age, instilling strict rules, pressuring them into sex and holding them against their own will among other things.

Cannick alleged that the witnesses were encouraged to lie and mislead their jurors. “He didn’t have to recruit women,” the attorney said. “That’s the narrative they’re perpetuating.” 

As previously reported by REVOLT, the “Step in the Name of Love” singer was indicted on charges, including sex trafficking, racketeering and illegally transporting people across state lines for the purpose of sex. He has consistently maintained his innocence. However, if convicted, Kelly faces 10 years to life in prison.


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