Disgraced R&B singer and convicted sex trafficker R. Kelly has been transferred to a federal prison in North Carolina.
R. Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, was moved to FCI Butner Medium I, a “medium security federal correctional institution,” according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website.
The Butner complex sits north of the Raleigh-Durham area and includes two medium security facilities, a low-security facility and a medical facility. “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski is being held at the Butner medical facility, which is also where Ponzi scheme mastermind Bernie Madoff died in 2021 while serving a 150-year sentence.
R. Kelly was previously being held in Chicago, where he was sentenced in February to 20 years in federal prison after being convicted on three counts of production of child pornography and three counts of enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity.
He was already serving a 30-year sentence on racketeering and sex trafficking charges after being convicted in New York in September 2021. Prosecutors accused R. Kelly of using his status as a celebrity and a “network of people at his disposal to target girls, boys and young women for his own sexual gratification.”
Last week, attorneys for the former entertainer moved to appeal his federal racketeering conviction, calling the charge “absurdly remote” and saying it aimed to prosecute him for “alleged misdeeds going back decades without pesky statutes of limitations obstacles.”
The federal statute under which R. Kelly was charged requires proof of an ongoing criminal enterprise. His attorneys allege the prosecution failed to show there was a “collective of individuals who shared any common purpose other than to promote” R. Kelly’s music.
“Numerous seated jurors were either familiar with accusations that Defendant had a history of sexually abusing underage girls, had previously faced legal problems, and/or had seen the highly unflattering docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly, in which several government witnesses had appeared,” a brief filed last Wednesday said.
“Defense counsel did not move to disqualify jurors who admitted they had prejudged Defendant’s guilt or had gathered knowledge about the case from other sources,” it added.
CNN’s Liam Reilly, Sonia Moghe and Leidy Cook contributed to this report.