Artist News Legal

Attorneys in R Kelly case barred from publicly disclosing new evidence

By | Published on Thursday 1 August 2019

R Kelly

The judge overseeing the criminal case in Chicago relating to allegations of sexual abuse against R Kelly has barred attorneys on both sides from publicly divulging new evidence ahead of the eventual trial. Judge Harry Leinenweber said that he was concerned that the case was in danger of becoming tried in the media, rather than in court.

Kelly’s legal team argued against the ruling, saying that it was unfair because the musician’s accusers have already appeared on TV detailing their accusations against their client. One of his representatives, Michael Leonard, argued that this was already “tainting the jury pool” and that his team should be “allowed to respond” to accusations made in public.

Prosecutor Angel Krull denied Leonard’s characterisation of the situation, saying that only one of the accusers in the case had appeared in the ‘Surviving R Kelly’ documentary series, which re-ignited interest in allegations made against the musician. She added that “the vast majority of our evidence has never seen the light of day” and agreed that it should be held back until the trial takes place.

The new order only applies to evidence not yet publicly disclosed, so anything already known to the public can be discussed. Leinenweber added that lawyers could request permission to disclose pieces of evidence publicly if they felt it necessary.

As for when the trial itself will take place, Leinenweber said that he is aiming for April 2020, and would set a firm date at the next pre-trial hearing on 4 Sep.

Meanwhile, Kelly is being transferred to New York for a hearing on separate allegations against him there tomorrow. The star is being held in custody, having been refused bail after he was arrested and charged in the latter case. With at least eight months until his Chicago trial, and possibly longer until he is tried in New York, it remains to be seen if he is bailed before then.