It looks like one of Robert “R.” Kelly’s ongoing cases could have a trial start date as early as next year. The R&B singer appeared for an arraignment on June 26, 2019, at Leighton Criminal Court in Chicago, regarding sex-related felony charges involving four women. Three of those women were minors when the alleged abuse occurred.
On Wednesday, Cook County Judge Lawrence Flood ordered that a sex tape allegedly involving R. Kelly and a 14-year-old girl be turned over to the singer’s defense team.
As CBS Chicago reports:
During a status hearing in his criminal case on Wednesday, Cook County prosecutors said they were providing Kelly’s attorneys with a DVD of the video evidence. Prosecutors have said the video footage shows Kelly sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.
Because the video allegedly contains child pornography, Judge Lawrence Flood signed a protective order allowing Kelly’s attorneys to view the evidence without committing a crime. The order also prohibits anyone from sharing the pornographic video.
Judge Flood also ordered prosecutors to choose which of the four indictments to move forward first, as he hopes to schedule a trial date for early 2020.
As Billboard points out:
A 2020 trial would stand in contrast to what happened in the same courthouse when Kelly’s 2008 child pornography trail didn’t begin until six years after he was charged. He was acquitted on all charges.
Kelly was recently charged with 11 additional sex-related felonies; four of them are for aggravated sexual assault. The 52-year-old has pleaded not guilty to all charges and faces a maximum prison term of 30 years if convicted.
Kelly’s next hearing is scheduled for Aug. 15.