Kelly is currently facing a 13-count indictment claiming that he sexually assaulted several underage girls. According to The Chicago Tribune, he has brought in veteran criminal defense attorney Jeffrey Steinback, who is well known as a “plea bargain guy.” Plea bargain guys occupy an essential place in criminal defense and ensure their clients are not overcharged given the evidence. Steinback said that he was brought into the case as “another set of eyes” simply to lend his expertise—not (necessarily) to resolve the case before it goes to trial.
Kelly has been held in Metropolitan Correctional Center without bond since July.
How Plea Bargain Guys Work
Trial attorneys generally do the majority of advocating before juries, while plea bargain guys do the majority of their advocating to judges. They paint a sympathetic picture of their clients and lean on as many mitigating circumstances as they can in order to reduce the sentence or the charges against their client. Steinback was quoted as saying that he “did not meet a monster, but a man who is hurting.” Yet that same man appears to have caused a great deal of suffering for several young women who are now the complainants in a criminal trial against him.
Plea bargain guys also work behind the scenes and Steinback is known for his connections to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and his ability to negotiate drastically reduced sentences for his clients. However, Kelly is also facing racketeering charges in Brooklyn and other charges related to the sexual abuse of minors. Kelly is accused of trying to cover up evidence of sex tapes and persuade witnesses to change their stories. That causes one to wonder whether or not a plea bargain will serve Kelly any advantage as he is being hit with multiple charges from multiple jurisdictions. Any plea bargain would need to resolve all of Kelly’s cases at once. If convicted, Kelly could spend the rest of his life in prison.
Kelly faces both federal charges and state charges in New York, Illinois, and Minnesota.
Racketeering Charges in New York
Kelly is accused alongside close associates of screening concert attendees for underage girls and then grooming them for sexual contact. Prosecutors accuse him of targeting these girls and then threatening them or isolating them to keep them under his control.
Part of the problem of negotiating a plea deal in one place is that the charges Kelly faces in other states and from the federal government would not be resolved unless his defense team can come to terms with all of the other prosecutors across the U.S. Meanwhile, the chances of a trial still appear more likely than not. The federal charges will go first and there is a tentative trial date scheduled for April which may be delayed.
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are charged with a serious crime in the Chicago area, then you need a criminal defense attorney who understands the law and can make it work toward your advantage. Talk to David Freidberg today at (312) 560-7100 and we can begin preparing your defense.