CHICAGO (CBS) — Attorneys Steve Greenberg and Michael Leonard want out of R. Kelly’s federal criminal case in Chicago.
Greenberg late Friday confirmed reports that the attorneys have filed for leave to withdraw from the case. He declined further comment.
Greenberg and Leonard also requested to withdraw from Kelly’s New York case back in June of last year. Greenberg told CNN at the time that he felt that Kelly was “insistent that we work with people who we felt would be rendering in effective assistance as counsel.”
Federal prosecutors in Chicago have charged Kelly with videotaping himself having sex with underage girls, and paying hush money and intimidating witnesses to cover up his crimes.
Kelly was already convicted in September in a separate sex crimes and racketeering trial in New York. After years of whispers and accusations – and a 2008 child pornography trial in which he ended up being acquitted – a jury convicted him on nine counts in the explosive sex New York trafficking trial.
He could face life in prison in that case alone.
Kelly was found guilty of a racketeering charge. It was one count, but lists 14 underlying acts including kidnapping, forced labor, sex trafficking, and bribery. The government had to prove at least two of the 14.
Kelly was also charged with eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which makes it illegal to transport anyone across state lines for any immoral purpose. He was found guilty. The act was named after an Illinois U.S. Rep. James Robert Mann more than a century ago.
The Mann Act charges included claims of coercion and enticement.
Among the claims detailed at trial – his marriage to the late R&B singer Aaliyah, and how a government worker was bribed to get her a fake ID so Kelly could marry the then-15-year-old because he feared he had gotten her pregnant.
Witnesses testified about being locked in rooms and having to ask permission to leave, or use the bathroom. Others alleged Kelly gave them herpes without disclosing he had an STD.
The Chicago federal case is still pending.
Cook County prosecutors have also charged Kelly with multiple counts of sexual assault and sexual abuse against four women years ago. The first of those trials has been subject to a long delay.