R. Kelly’s future continues to hang in the balance now that a judge has postponed his trial again, citing delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
PageSix reports that the disgraced singer was scheduled to face trial in Brooklyn for charges of racketeering and sex trafficking in two months, but will now have to wait to appear in court.
“We are scheduled for an April trial date but I suspect it’s not going to come as a surprise that that is not a date that is going to work given the current conditions,” Brooklyn federal Judge Ann Donnelly said during a hearing held by phone.
For the trial to happen, a series of safety provisions are needed for the laundry list of logistics required to make it by the court date. First, people who travel to New York from out of state would need to take a test and quarantine.
Jurors requiring public transportation to and from court risk exposure to the virus. Since they are also “ anonymous and partially sequestered,” keeping the jurors’ identities hidden would require court marshalls escorting them in and out of the courthouse each day. Presently, vaccinations are not prioritized for court staff, increasing the risk factors for exposure.
As for R. Kelly, he’ll have to be moved to a Brooklyn lockup that’s currently battling a COVID-19 outbreak. He’ll remain under federal custody in Chicago until his new trial date of Aug. 9, for now.
The R&Pee legend, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, is juggling three other cases related to sex crimes.
In Chicago, he’s accused of videotaping himself having sex with five underage girls between 1993 and 2002. He paid thousands of dollars to at least two of them to retrieve their copies of the tapes. He’s also facing aggravated assault in Cook County, Illinois — which encompasses Chicago.
A federal court in Minneapolis has accused him of groping a 17-year-old girl in a hotel room after paying her to dance for him in the nude.
The “I Believe I Can Fly” singer is desperate for freedom. In the Brooklyn case, he orchestrated a bribery attempt by hiring multiple associates to harass, intimidate, threaten or coerce witnesses to beat the charges. One co-conspirator pleaded guilty to bribery charges after working to silence a witness with $500,000 in hush money, a move authorized by Kelly while behind bars.
On a separate occasion, the “Step In The Name Of Love” singer was violently attacked and nearly shanked by an inmate with “f— the feds” tattooed on his face.
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