Kelly finally received a date for his trial after spending more than a year at Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago. He must now face his child pornography and obstruction of justice charges.
U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber said the singer’s trial would commence on September 13, 2021. Still, he says that the date is “not set in stone” given the erratic nature of the coronavirus pandemic. It could affect court proceedings set to occur before Kelly’s.
Back in July 2019, Kelly was arrested on child pornography and obstruction of justice charges. He stayed at the Chicago correction center ever since. For multiple times, he tried to be freed from the correction center as he awaits trial but a number of judges turned down his requests.
Kelly is accused of avoiding a prosecution during his 2008 Cook County trial with threats, gifts, and six-figure payoffs.
The Chicago trial is not the only one Kelly will have to prepare for in 2021. He also has an April 7 date for racketeering charges in Brooklyn. U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly, who will oversee the trial, approved a motion for it to be held in front of an anonymous jury.
“Empaneling an anonymous jury is appropriate given the seriousness of the charges, the defendant’s history of obstructing the judicial process, the potential for juror intimidation and the intensity of media attention given to this case,” Donnelly said.