R. Kelly’s trial has been delayed again due to COVID-19

The singer has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him

R. Kelly’s New York trial has been delayed again due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

US District Judge Ann Donnelly said during a status hearing yesterday (February 9), that the planned April 2021 date was “not realistic at all” and set a new date for August 21, reports the Chicago Tribune. It may also be changed again depending on the status of the pandemic.

The singer, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, faces a series of federal and state charges in New York, Illinois, and Minnesota.

The charges range from sexual abuse to racketeering. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and has denied all allegations of abuse.

R Kelly appears in court. Credit: E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/Pool.

Kelly was first taken into custody in early 2019 on 10 charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

He was later arrested again in July that year, after being indicted on 13 charges by federal officers.

The latest delay comes just weeks after the singer’s court trial for child pornography and obstruction charges in Chicago, was also delayed due to COVID-19.

He was initially set to stand trial on April 27, but the date was moved to September 13.

Back in April 2020, the singer’s lawyers filed a motion for him to be released on bail from prison due to fears he would catch COVID-19 in prison, but the appeal was rejected, even after he launched a second separate bail appeal that same month.

Another attempt for release on bail was later rejected in September, after reports emerged that Kelly had been physically assaulted in jail, with the singer’s lawyer saying: “Another inmate that had an issue with lockdown, got upset and simply attacked Robert.”

The singer is currently being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago.

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