Prosecutor used burner email to talk to author

The Chicago federal case against R. Kelly took another strange turn Wednesday when it was revealed that the one-time lead prosecutor used a burner email account and a fake name to communicate with the author of a book on Kelly’s sexual misconduct. used.

But the writer, Jim Derogatis, told the Tribune that he was the one who was fishing for information from the prosecutor — Assistant US Attorney Angel Krul — and was nowhere to be found.

The emails were disclosed in a motion filed early Wednesday by an attorney for Kelly’s co-defendant, Darrell McDavid. The motion alleges that Krul used the pseudonym “Demetrius Slovenski” and the username “piedpiper312” to create a Gmail account on April 16, 2019, three months before Kelly was convicted.

On the day the account was created, Krul began communicating with Derogatis, a former Chicago Sun-Times reporter and author of the book “Soulless: The Case Against Are Kelly,” according to a motion filed by attorneys Beau Brindley and Vladimir Glozman. it was done. ,

The email, which prosecutors turned over to the search on Monday, indicated that DeRogatis sent Krul a copy of his book, which had not been released to the public at the time, in accordance with the proposal. According to the proposal, Krul also refers to “an earlier oral conversation with Mr. Derogatis that took place on the same day”.

Two weeks later, DeRogatis sent an email to Kroll’s burner account asking “whether the book was any help,” the proposal states. He also provided information about the conversations he had with “a key ‘enabler’ mentioned” about the ongoing criminal investigation. [in his book],

Krul dropped the case in 2020 when she relocated to the U.S. Attorney’s office in another district. Sources told the Tribune that he left Chicago to be closer to an ailing relative.

“Due to the extraordinary nature of these communications, Mr McDavid asks the court to compel additional searches regarding the circumstances of the conversation, how it came to light and its disclosure,” the motion states.

At a pre-trial conference Wednesday morning, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeannis Apanteng said the material was changed “out of an abundance of caution” but did not affect the criminal trial, which is set to begin on Aug. 15. Apanteng said Derogatis is not a witness and that the government has “never interviewed him.”

However, Brindley wasn’t buying it. “We are worried about this,” he said. “We want to find out more. It’s very, very strange.”

DeRogatis told the Tribune on Wednesday that he was the one to reach out to federal prosecutors in 2019 in an effort to develop sources in the office. Ultimately that attempt was unsuccessful, he said.

“Angel never gave me a damn,” he said. “No federal prosecutor ever did.”

When Derogatis reached Krul by phone in spring 2019, she introduced herself as a journalist who had been reporting on Kelly for decades, saying she couldn’t talk to him, according to Derogatis.

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“I said, ‘It’s a really complicated story, it goes on for 20 years, my book is coming out,'” DeRogatis told the Tribune. According to DeRogatis, Krul said she’d be interested in seeing the book and gave her a “pipepiper” email address.

“What amount of sculdgary I had to deal with sources, lawyers and others for more than 20 years, was I surprised I got a strange email? No,” DeRogatis said. “So I gave him the book. And I said, ‘Here’s the book, I’d love to chat.’ And a couple of weeks later I said, ‘Was the book helpful? I’d love to chat.’ And I never heard back. Nothing.”

DeRogatis stressed that federal prosecutors have not contacted him about being a potential witness in the upcoming trial, and that he did not provide anyone with information that was not already reported.

US District Judge Harry Leinenweber asks prosecutors to file written responses to Brindley’s motion by the end of the week

Kelly, 55, was convicted in July 2019 of conspiring with McDavid and another accomplice, Milton “June” Brown, in Cook County to falsify their 2008 child pornography case and conceal years of alleged sexual abuse of underage girls. was accused of. The trial is expected to last four to six weeks.

In June, Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison for his racketeering conviction in US District Court in Brooklyn. He is appealing both the jury’s decision and the judge’s sentence.

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