Artist News Legal

R Kelly’s Chicago trial now set for next August

By | Published on Thursday 21 October 2021

R Kelly

R Kelly’s second trial over allegations of sexual abuse – in his home town of Chicago – is now set to begin on 1 Aug 2022. The criminal proceedings in Illinois have been delayed by both the COVID-19 pandemic and the concurrent proceedings in New York state.

Kelly, of course, was found guilty of all charges at the end of his headline-grabbing trial in New York. In that specific case, Kelly was accused of building and running a criminal enterprise specifically designed to facilitate the sexual and physical abuse of girls and young women who were lured into his entourage.

Jurors heard from numerous victims of the star, many of whom told a similar story about how they were drawn into Kelly’s world, and then forced to live under a set of strict rules, risking physical and other punishment if they broke those rules.

The case in Chicago relates to many of the same crimes, although is likely to focus specifically on a number of graphic videotapes that allegedly show Kelly sexually abusing three underage girls. Two of Kelly’s longtime associates also face charges, Derrel McDavid and Milton ‘June’ Brown.

Kelly is still represented by Steve Greenberg and Michael Leonard in the Chicago case, the two attorneys who were dropped from the musician’s legal team in the New York proceedings just two months before that trial began. The team who ended up leading Kelly’s defence in the New York case have been criticised for relying on mainly lacklustre arguments, and it’s thought that the star will likely rejig that team ahead of his appeal.

As for the Chicago case, Greenberg is of the opinion that that trial shouldn’t go ahead until sentencing has taken place in New York, which isn’t scheduled until next May. Which means the Kelly side is currently in no rush, although legal reps for his co-defendants have been pushing for a speedier timeline, arguing that their clients are experiencing unfair delays because they are “at the mercy of Mr Kelly’s problems”.

Kelly himself appeared via video-link at the latest Chicago court hearing, though didn’t speak because technical difficulties meant he couldn’t be heard in the court room.

Greenberg, meanwhile, revealed that his client had been placed on suicide watch following the guilty ruling in the New York case. Although, it is quite common in the US federal prison system to increase the monitoring of recently convicted prisoners, and the lawyer didn’t comment on whether his client had expressed any actual desire to harm himself. That extra monitoring has also now ended.