R. Kelly’s sex crimes trial pushed back to July
R. Kelly’s sex crimes trial in New York has been pushed back to July.
The ‘Ignition’ hitmaker was initially set to be tried in Brooklyn, New York, for charges that include sex trafficking, racketeering and child pornography in May this year, but on Thursday a judge at a pre-trial hearing pushed the back the “somewhat unrealistic” date to July 7.
According to Brooklyn Federal Judge Ann Donnelly, the May date was deemed “unrealistic” because Kelly’s federal case in Illinois is going to trial in April.
The pre-trial hearing also saw the judge make a decision on the jury pool, as she said they would need a pool of around 200 potential jurors, with around 500 questionnaires being sent out to pre-screen candidates.
Kelly appeared in court via video link, as he is currently in prison in Chicago.
The judge believes Kelly’s trial should take three or four weeks to complete and comes as the ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ singer’s former girlfriend Azriel Clary, 22, recently began cooperating with authorities working on the case.
Azriel is keen to help other women who have been in a similar situation, whether with Kelly or someone else, while prosecutors are monitoring threats that have been made against her and her family since she made her decision to return home.
Kelly is facing five federal criminal charges including kidnapping and racketeering in New York, which are separate to addition charges in Chicago, Cook County, and Minnesota.
In Chicago, Kelly has been hit with 13 counts, including charges of child porn, enticement of a minor and obstruction of justice, whilst in Cook County, Illinois, he has been indicted on a further 10 charges of aggravated sexual abuse.
The 52-year-old singer was hit with another two sexual assault charges in Minnesota in August, which related to an alleged interaction he had with a teenage girl.
Kelly has denied all the allegations against him, and has pleaded not guilty.