CHICAGO (AP) — A Cook County judge on Wednesday ordered singer R. Kelly to stand trial on one of four sexual abuse cases on Sept. 14, 2020, but it remains unclear which of the cases prosecutors will take to trial first. Tentative trial dates have also been set in two federal cases against R. Kelly: the Chicago trial in April 2020, then the New York trial in May 2020, followed by the Cook County trial in September 14th, 2020.
During the hearing in Chicago, Judge Lawrence Flood told prosecutors he wants to know by Jan. 22 which of the four separate indictments they plan to take to trial first.
The 52-year-old singer, who is being held without bond and did not attend the hearing, is already scheduled to stand trial in federal court in Chicago in April and again in federal court in Brooklyn the next month.
Kelly was charged by Cook County prosecutors last March with sexually abusing three minor girls and one woman over a period of more than a decade.
Then in July, in federal court in Chicago, the R&B singer was indicted on charges of child pornography and obstruction of justice, with prosecutors accusing him of paying off potential witnesses in his 2008 trial – at which he was acquitted — to get them to change his story.
At the same time, he was indicted in New York on charges that include racketeering, kidnapping, forced labor and the sexual exploitation of a charges. Prosecutors alleged he and his employees and assistants picked out women and girls at concerts and groomed them for sexual abuse.
In the new superseding indictment, R. Kelly faces a new bribery charge, associated to the disgraced singer’s 1994 marriage to female R&B singer Aaliyah.
The new charge accused R. Kelly of plotting with others to pay for a “fraudulent identification document” for someone identified only as “Jane Doe” on Aug. 30, 1994, according to a superseding indictment unsealed on Thursday and obtained by TPF News Now.
A day later, Kelly, then 27, wedded Aaliyah, who was 15 at the time, in a clandestine ceremony arranged by Kelly at a hotel in Chicago. The marriage was invalidated months later because of her age.
Aaliyah, whose full name was Aaliyah Dana Haughton, worked with R. Kelly on her debut album ”Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number.” She tragically perished in a plane crash in 2001 at age 22.
R. Kelly’s attorneys have long maintained he was unaware of Aaliyah’s age when they wedded.