Longtime defense attorney who specializes in plea negotiations, Jeffrey Steinback, has joined R. Kelly’s legal team to lend his “expertise.” According to the Chicago Tribune, Steinback has a reputation for making deals and his connections with the U.S. attorney’s office have helped him majorly reduce clients’ prison sentences in the past.
“I was brought in as another set of eyes,” Steinback told the Tribune over the phone. He revealed he’s met with Kelly several times at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago.
“I did not meet a monster,” he continued. “I met a man who is hurting... He’s done a great deal of good in his life.”
Kelly is currently facing a 13-count indictment in Chicago, including allegations that he sexually abused underage girls. The former R&B star faces separate racketeering charges in Brooklyn, NY, four sexual abuse charges in Cook County, IL and prostitution involving a minor charges in Minnesota.
As of Monday (Nov. 4), Steinback has not filed an appearance in New York or Cook County. The Chicago Tribune reports that the attorney’s previous clients have included a mob-connected Chicago police chief who pleaded guilty to running a jewelry theft ring, political insider Stuart Levine, who was a main witness in the government’s corruption investigation of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Scott Fawell, who provided testimony against former Illinois Gov. George Ryan.
Kelly’s lead attorney, Steven Greenberg, told the Tribune that despite Steinback’s addition, no plea deals are currently in the works.
“Perhaps at some point we will need Jeff’s particular expertise,” he said. “At this point we are certainly not working towards or contemplating a plea in any of his cases, but I think that as part of having a complete team, it’s important to know what your risks are.”
Last week, Kelly failed to attend his Chicago court hearing, claiming he had an infected toe. He was expected in court on Wednesday (Oct. 30) for his child pornography case. Kelly had previously moved to dismiss the charges—that he allegedly conspired with his former manager to destroy sex tapes involving minors—citing the statute of limitations. Wednesday (Oct. 30), the judge said he would rule on that motion later, since Kelly was a no-show.
Kelly is expected back in county court in December and set for a Chicago trial next April.