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Prosecutors Behind R. Kelly’s Sex Trafficking and Racketeering Convictions in New York Start Women-Owned Law Firm

R. Kelly appears in an Illinois state courtroom in a 2019 file photo.

R. Kelly appears in an Illinois state courtroom in a 2019 file photo.

A pair of longtime federal prosecutors in New York who recently secured R. Kelly’s sex trafficking and racketeering convictions are opening up their own women-led shop following their headline-grabbing victory in court.

Former assistant U.S. Attorneys in the Eastern District of New York Elizabeth Geddes and Nadia Shihata announced that they were founding a new boutique law firm specializing in criminal defense in sexual misconduct and civil rights cases.

In addition to criminal defense and sexual misconduct, Shihata & Geddes LLP will also handle wrongful conviction cases as well as internal investigations and civil rights audits for educational institutions, sports associations, corporations and nonprofits, according to the firm’s press release. The firm will be based in New York City.

During her 11 years in the EDNY, Shihata reached numerous leadership positions, most recently serving as the Chief of the Office’s Organized Crime and Gang Section. Prior to that role, she was the Deputy Chief of the Office’s Public Integrity Section where she oversaw public corruption cases.

Shihata was also a part of the prosecution team that secured the 2018 conviction of Eugenio Perez on charges of sexual assault. The ex-lieutenant at New York’s Metropolitan Detention Center was found guilty on charges of deprivation of civil rights, aggravated sexual abuse, sexual abuse, sexual abuse of a ward, attempted sexual abuse of a ward, and abusive sexual contact.

Before joining the prosecutor’s office in New York, Shihata served as appeals counsel in the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague, according to her bio.

“We are excited to put the skills we’ve gained conducting complex investigations and successfully prosecuting criminal cases to work in the private sector to provide excellent, innovative service to our clients with a personal touch. Our experience includes investigating sexual abuse in business and not-for-profit settings, in areas as varied as the music industry and the federal prison system,” Shihata said in a statement. “Wherever such misconduct takes place, it endures when oversight is lacking and people look the other way. ”

“Our firm is well-suited to handle these sensitive investigations and to proactively assist organizations in complying with both the letter and spirit of civil rights laws, reducing the risk of future misconduct and harm,” she added.

Geddes spent more than 15 years in the federal prosecutor’s office where she most recently served as the Chief of the Civil Rights Section. In that role she oversaw investigations into civil rights violations, hate crimes, and sex trafficking. She had previously served as the Deputy Chief of the Office’s Criminal Division.

Geddes was also part of the investigation and prosecution teams that took down the Colombo crime family.

“We are deeply committed to providing excellent representation to individuals who have been deprived of their civil rights and those who have been sexually abused and harassed,” Geddes said in a statement. “We understand that individuals sometimes feel powerless to act after having been abused by individuals in positions of power. Leveraging our extensive investigative and litigation experience, our firm will zealously advocate for our clients and craft strategies tailored to their needs.”

Notably, the feds announced charges over the summer in connection with alleged threats against three Jane Does, identified only as female prosecutors who worked to convict Kelly in Brooklyn.

[Image of R. Kelly via Antonio Perez/Pool/Getty Images]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.