After spending more than a year at Chicago’s downtown Metropolitan Correctional Center, R. Kelly has received a date for his trial, where he faces child pornography and obstruction of justice charges. According to the Chicago Sun Times, U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber said the singer’s trial would begin on September 13, 2021. However, he stressed that the date is “not set in stone” given the unpredictable nature of the coronavirus pandemic and how it could affect court proceedings set to occur before Kelly’s.
Kelly was arrested on child pornography and obstruction of justice charges back in July 2019 and has stayed at the Chicago correction center ever since. He attempted multiple times to be freed from the correction center as he awaits trial, but a number of judges turned down his requests. Kelly is accused of avoiding a prosecution during his 2008 Cook County trial with threats, gifts, and six-figure payoffs.
The Chicago trial is not the only one Kelly will have to prepare for in 2021. He also has an April 7 date for racketeering charges in Brooklyn. U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly, who will oversee the trial, approved a motion for it to be held in front of an anonymous jury. “Empaneling an anonymous jury is appropriate given the seriousness of the charges, the defendant’s history of obstructing the judicial process, the potential for juror intimidation and the intensity of media attention given to this case,” Donnelly said.
(via the Chicago Sun Times)