R. Kelly’s federal trial in Chicago for child pornography postponed to summer 2022

It was initially due to begin in April 2020

R. Kelly‘s trial for child pornography and obstruction charges has been postponed until next summer.

The disgraced artist – real name Robert Sylvester Kelly – was found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking by a federal jury in Brooklyn, New York last month (September 27). He is due to be sentenced on May 4, 2022.

A trial date for child pornography and obstruction charges in Chicago, Illinois has been delayed multiple times owing to disruptions caused by the COVID pandemic as well as Kelly’s separate trial. It was initially set to begin in April 2020.

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According to the Chicago Sun-Times, a new date of August 1, 2022 was set during a status hearing this morning (October 20). Lawyers said that the trial could last up to three or four weeks.

It is reported that Kelly had been due to appear via video link today but technical problems meant the judge was unable to hear him.

Attorney Steve Greenberg said the US Bureau of Prisons placed Kelly on suicide watch following the guilty verdicts in New York, though that has since been lifted.

R Kelly New York trial sexual abuse begins
R. Kelly arrives at a courtroom in Chicago in 2019. Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Kelly was federally indicted in Illinois in July 2019. During the hearing, Judge Harry D. Leinenweber said that the child pornography charge has “presumption of detention”. Kelly pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The artist is also facing additional sex-related charges in Illinois and Minnesota. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges.

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Jacquelyn M. Kasulis, acting US Attorney for New York’s Eastern District, said last month: “Today’s guilty verdict forever brands R. Kelly as a predator, who used his fame and fortune to prey on the young, the vulnerable, and the voiceless for his own sexual gratification.

“A predator who used his inner circle to ensnare underage teenage girls, and young women and men, for decades, in a sordid web of sex abuse, exploitation and degradation.”

Following his guilty verdicts last month, R. Kelly’s album sales increased by more than 500 per cent.

Meanwhile, two of Kelly’s YouTube channels have been permanently suspended. The video streaming platform cited a violation of its terms of service and “creator responsibility guidelines”.

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