Friday, February 7, 2020

R. Kelly’s trial in Brooklyn, New York delayed to July 7

A federal judge has delayed R. Kelly’s racketeering, s3xual abuse and bribery trial in Brooklyn, New York to July 7, so it would not conflict with the singer’s upcoming trial in a separate Chicago case.

U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly in Brooklyn federal court said the scheduled April 27 trial date in Chicago made the May 18 target to begin the Brooklyn trial “somewhat unrealistic.”

Kelly, who federal authorities have detained in Chicago, attended the Brooklyn hearing by video conference, wearing an orange, V-neck short-sleeve shirt over a white T-shirt.

His lawyer Douglas Anton supported the delay, citing “voluminous” evidence to review and that Kelly’s defense lawyers “don’t even know who two of the alleged victims are.”

Questionnaires will be given to about 400 to 500 prospective jurors in May, from whom lawyers hope to find 200 to question further in July.

Known for such hits as “I Believe I Can Fly” and “Bump N’ Grind,” Kelly, 53, has faced sexual abuse allegations dating back more than two decades, including accounts from some accusers in the January 2019 Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly.”

He has pleaded not guilty to all criminal charges in several cases filed in New York, Illinois, and Minnesota last year.

The Brooklyn prosecutors have accused Kelly of running a criminal scheme in which women and underage girls were recruited to have sexual activity with him.

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