COVID-19 continues to impact R. Kelly’s day in court. His upcoming trial has been pushed back once again, this time until August, due to the ongoing pandemic. This is the fourth time the “I Believe I Can Fly” artist’s court date was postponed.
His new trial date has now been set for August 9, says Brooklyn federal Judge Ann Donnelly. Donnelly announced during a Tuesday hearing, “We are scheduled for an April trial date but I suspect it’s not going to come as a surprise that that is not a date that is going to work given the current conditions.”
According to Page Six, the continuous postponements are because of the amount of traveling witnesses will have to undergo to attend trial in New York. Judge Donnelly noted that witnesses would be required to take COVID-19 tests and, should they travel out of state, quarantine. The judge also pointed out that jury members will have to risk exposing themselves to the virus by taking public transportation to the courthouse.
Lastly, Kelly himself would have to be transferred to a local prison, which Donnelly was not willing to sign off on because of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks affecting inmates.
Her hope is that, by August, vaccinations will be well underway and those participating in the federal trial will be safer because of it.
R. Kelly, real name Robert Kelly, faces state and federal charges for sex-trafficking, racketeering, coercion, and other charges related to the abuse and exploitation of six women over the course of 25 years. He has since pleaded not guilty.
He also faces a separate indictment in Chicago, for allegations regarding child pornography. That particular trial is slated to start in September.
By Megan Stone
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