Marking another win for prosecution, two of R. Kelly’s alleged victims will remain anonymous to the singer until his trial. According to The Chicago Tribune, US District Judge Ann M. Donnelly declined the singer’s request to identify the accusers, currently listed as Jane Doe #2 and Jane Doe #3 in court documents, in New York City on Wednesday (Jan. 29).
Prosecutors previously argued that the alleged victims’ identities should remain anonymous, claiming that Kelly has showed a “consistent pattern” of intimidating witnesses and obstructing his Brooklyn case, including using a prison staff member’s phone to make an unrecorded phone call.
“Simply put, the defendant’s past behavior reveals that if given the opportunity to influence a potential witness, the defendant will take it, and his incarceration may not be enough to prevent such conduct,” prosecutors wrote.
“The defendant has, at his disposal, individuals willing to assist him in bypassing the traditional methods used to monitor the defendant’s communications,” they continued. “The defendant’s attempt to paint himself as being completely isolated from the outside world ... is simply not credible.”
Prosecutors also cited an intimidating letter that Kelly allegedly send to accuser Heather Williams, who sued Kelly for giving her herpes in 2017.
The letter instructed Williams to “cease her participation and association with the organizers of this negative campaign” if she “really cares about her own reputation.” It also warned that “counteractions are in the developmental stages and due to be released soon.”
In his Brooklyn case, Kelly faces racketeering and sexual misconduct charges. He is accused of having a sexual relationship with Jane Doe #2 while she was 16 years old. Jane Doe #3 claims the singer once locked her in a room for multiple days, drugged her and sexually assaulted her while she as unconscious.
Kelly’s attorney Steven Greenberg argued that the accusers’ anonymity would interfere with his defense.
“It is impossible to interview witnesses, to search for records or to do anything without this information,” Greenberg perviously said, according to The Source. “I don’t know how we’re supposed to put together a defense without the specifics of who these people are.”
However, siding with prosecution, Judge Donnelly said that judges “routinely” deny requests for victims’ identities in racketeering cases, like Kelly’s. Along with his ongoing Brooklyn case, Kelly has open criminal cases in both Chicago and Minneapolis.