Artist News Legal

R Kelly’s New York abuse trial delayed again due to COVID

By | Published on Wednesday 10 February 2021

R Kelly

R Kelly’s trial in New York has been pushed back to August, as the COVID pandemic continues to impact on court proceedings. The judge overseeing the case said yesterday that it was now clear that conducting a jury trial in April was “not realistic at all”, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The already delayed trial was set to begin on 7 Apr, and now has its start scheduled for 9 Aug. However, Judge Ann Donnelly said that this may slip again, depending on the rollout of vaccines.

If it goes ahead in August, the new date brings it closer to Kelly’s other trial in Chicago, which has also been pushed back due to the pandemic and is now set to take place in September. However, Kelly’s lawyer Steve Greenberg said in court yesterday that he was not confident that the Chicago hearing would start in September anyway, due to the “disappointing” rollout of vaccines in the city.

Kelly has been held in custody on numerous charges relating to allegations of sexual abuse in multiple states since July 2019. He has been kept in jail due to evidence that he tampered with witnesses ahead of his previous child abuse trial in 2008.

Earlier this month, a friend of Kelly’s, Richard Arline Jr, pleaded guilty to charges of attempting to pay off a witness involved in the current round of accusations against the musician. He said that he did so with the approval of Kelly. Two other men are accused of attempting to intimidate witnesses and their families.