Is R Kelly in jail? While R&B singer awaits New York sentencing, Chicago trial pushed back

R Kelly sentence could be decades in prison on racketeering conviction; still faces Chicago trial

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, June 21, 2022
R Kelly jail: While singer awaits NY sentencing, Chicago trial pushed
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R. Kelly's federal trial in Chicago has been delayed.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago trial date for singer R. Kelly has been delayed due to issues with the availability of the courtroom.

It was decided in a status hearing Tuesday that the jury trial set for Aug. 1 would be moved to Aug. 15.

The federal case includes child pornography, obstruction of justice and sexual abuse charges.

After a conviction in New York, Kelly now has something in common with Chicago mob bosses, leaders of the Hells Angels and El Chapo: He is a convicted racketeer.

Federal prosecutors in New York invoked what's known as the "RICO Act" to take down Kelly, who for decades seemed untouchable by law enforcement despite women telling horrid stories of sex abuse.

Using a law intended to crack down on organized crime, Kelly is now looking at decades in prison.

Lawyer Steve Greenberg said that the 20 years or more that the government is likely to request will be tantamount to a life sentence for the 54-year-old ex-R&B superstar.

He's scheduled to be sentenced June 29.

Kelly, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, has been jailed without bail since 2019. The trial was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic and Kelly's last-minute shakeup of his legal team.

WATCH: R Kelly accuser, documentary producer speak out after conviction

"The Chicago case, unfortunately for Robert, is far more serious," Greenberg said. "Because it involves child pornography charges and charges that he obstructed justice in his earlier trial from, from the 2000s which was in state court here. The Chicago case actually carries much more severe penalties than the New York case, but we're gonna fight for....we know the evidence in that case, we're prepared we could go to trial tomorrow."

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After Chicago, there is a state case against Kelly in Minnesota where two criminal charges allege prostitution with a minor. That incident, according to authorities, is from 20 years ago in 2001. However, it's the New York conviction for racketeering and sex trafficking that federal prosecutors are heralding as a "powerful message" aimed at men who use fame and fortune to prey on the young and voiceless.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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