The judge fears that R. Kelly would threaten the accusers if he knew their identities.
With all the charges being brought against R. Kelly in both federal and state courts, it seems highly unlikely that he will become a free man any time soon. Regardless, he is denying accusations wherever he can and one particular case is proving especially challenging for him to defend himself.
In his federal trial taking place in Brooklyn, the disgraced singer has been fighting to get two of his accusers identified, as they are currently listed as Jane Doe No. 2 and Jane Doe No. 3 in court papers. A few weeks ago, Kelly's lawyer, Steve Greenberg, wrote a letter to the judge pleading for the accusers' names to be released to help Kelly's team prepare for the trial. "It is impossible to interview witnesses, to search for records, or to do anything without this information,” Greenberg wrote.
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Despite Greenberg's argument, Brooklyn Federal Judge Ann Donnelly is refusing to cooperate. According to Page Six, The request was formally denied on Wednesday (Jan. 29), as prosecutors informed Donnelly that Kelly has a history of using intimidation tactics against his accusers. An example was cited of Kelly sending a threatening letter to Heather Williams, who filed a lawsuit against him for giving her herpes in 2017 when she was 19. In the letter, Kelly supposedly told Williams that if she “really cares about her own reputation she should cease her participation and association with the organizers of this negative campaign.” The court papers also state that he warned her that "counter actions are in the developmental stages and due to be released soon."
Kelly's legal team will have to find a way to move forward without the alleged victims' names. Jane Doe No. 2 claims the defendant had sex with her in 1999, when she was 16 years. Jane Doe No. 3 claims that, between 2003 and 2004, Kelly locked her in a bedroom in a Chicago recording studio for three days without food and sexually assaulted her while she was unconscious.