CHICAGO (CN) – The first trial date has been set in one of the many jurisdictions where disgraced R&B star R. Kelly faces criminal sexual abuse charges.
A federal judge in the Northern District of Illinois decided Wednesday to set April 27, 2020, as the start of what prosecutors estimate will be a three-week trial.
Kelly appeared in court in an orange prison jumpsuit alongside two business associates who are out on bond – Derrel McDavid and Milton “June” Brown. They are charged as accomplices for allegedly covering up the singer’s video tapes of sex acts with minor girls.
The 13-count federal indictment for child pornography and sexual assault in Illinois names five victims who were between the ages of 12 and 17 at the time of their contact with Kelly. They were allegedly paid to return tapes and to keep quiet about what happened.
Prosecutors say four pornographic video tapes are part of their evidence against Kelly.
The singer’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, asked for more time before going to trial, saying he had received “voluminous discovery” from the different jurisdictions in which indictments have been brought.
Judge Harry D. Leinenweber agreed to consider postponing proceedings at a later date but said he wanted to get the trial underway as soon as possible.
Kelly has asked the Judge Leinenweber to reconsider his detention at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago.
The singer’s two young girlfriends recently moved out of his apartment in Trump Tower.
Greenberg claimed Kelly has been kept in solitary confinement, although prosecutors countered that the singer himself refused to have a cellmate. Kelly was moved into the general population on Tuesday.
Kelly pleaded not guilty to all charges filed against him, which include five counts of racketeering in Brooklyn federal court stemming from an alleged sex ring, 21 counts of sexual abuse in Illinois state court and two counts of prostitution in Minnesota state court.
A civil judge in Cook County denied a motion to dismiss a single civil complaint against Kelly on Tuesday, filed by one victim who claims the singer sexually abused her as a minor.
Kelly’s next court hearing on Sept. 17 in Illinois will be for the state charges against him.