A federal judge has delayed R. Kelly’s racketeering, sexual assault, and bribery trial in New York until July.
However, U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly didn’t give the troubled artist a break because she was feeling charitable. Rather, she said that Kelly’s upcoming trial in Chicago, which is set to begin on April 27th, will likely make it impossible to proceed with the New York court case on the originally scheduled date of May 18th. Now, Kelly is tentatively slated to defend himself against the New York charges on July 7th.
In Chicago, R. Kelly is facing a mountain of charges, all of which stem from the alleged sexual abuse of minors. Additionally, the 53-year-old has been charged with prostitution and soliciting a minor by Minnesota prosecutors. In “The Land of 10,000 Lakes,” each charge is a felony and can be punished by up to five years behind bars.
As if these difficulties weren’t substantial enough, all three of R. Kelly’s lawyers abandoned his case last week.
Kelly isn’t a stranger to legal issues pertaining to the alleged sexual abuse of minors. Having been charged with a number of child pornography crimes in 2002, he was controversially found not guilty on all counts in 2008. In 2003, investigators searched Kelly’s Florida home and found naked photographs of allegedly underage females, but charges were dropped because the search was subsequently declared unlawful.
Then, in 2017, several parents accused Kelly of trapping their young daughters in something of a cult; in 1994, when R. Kelly was 27, he attempted to marry R&B star Aaliyah, who was just 15 at the time.
Public interest in Kelly’s alleged sexual crimes was renewed in early 2019, after Lifetime aired a six-part documentary, Surviving R. Kelly, which told the stories of women who claim to have been abused by the artist. Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning aired on Lifetime in January 2020.
Kelly’s last album, 12 Nights of Christmas, was released in 2016. RCA Records dropped him after the fact, in the wake of the aforementioned sexual assault allegations.