R. Kelly appears for a hearing at Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago, Illinois, US, on June 26, 2019. (Chicago Tribune/Pool via REUTERS/E. Jason Wambsgans)
The singer R. Kelly should learn when he will stand trial on sexual assault charges before the end of the year after delays caused by COVID-19, a judge said Tuesday.
Kelly's trial had been originally due to begin on Tuesday in Chicago but was postponed when several witnesses reported problems traveling to the Midwestern city from out of state.
At a hearing at a federal court, District Judge Harry Leinenweber said he expects to set a new trial date for Kelly on December 16.
Kelly did not appear at the hearing, which was held by phone Tuesday.
While Kelly's attorney and prosecutors agreed to wait until December for the trial to be set, Vadim Glozman, an attorney for Darrell McDavid, Kelly's former manager who is charged with child pornography and obstruction of justice, asked Leinenweber to set a trial date immediately.
The judge denied Glozman's request, saying the court needs more time to find an open courtroom for the trial.
"Because of the pandemic and a lot of cases that were backed up, it's been hard to schedule court rooms," Leinenweber said.
Also on Tuesday, Kelly's attorney Michael Leonard said he will be filing motions seeking bail for a seventh time and for an evidentiary hearing regarding an attack on Kelly in August by another inmate at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago, where Kelly has been held since July 2019.
Kelly is facing federal charges in Chicago and Brooklyn, New York, and local charges in Cook County, Illinois and Hennepin County, Minnesota. The federal case in Chicago alleges child pornography and obstruction of justice, while the feds in Brooklyn have alleged racketeering. No date for either case has been set.
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