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R Kelly’s New York trial delayed again, legal team say they need more time

By | Published on Friday 9 July 2021

R Kelly

R Kelly’s legal team has convinced the judge overseeing the musician’s most imminent sexual abuse case in New York to delay the start of that particular trial. The lawyers said that they needed more time to prepare in order to properly defend their client.

While there have been several delays to the start of this trial already, this latest one puts it back by days rather than months. It is now set to start on 18 Aug, rather than 9 Aug. Jury selection will still take place on 9 Aug.

The lawyers said that they had been unable to meet with Kelly in person as yet, as he was forced to quarantine for fourteen days as a result of the prison system’s ongoing COVID rules after being transferred to a jail in Brooklyn from Chicago, where he was previously being held.

The short delay comes a month after key members of Kelly’s legal team – including most frequent spokesperson Steve Greenberg – resigned from the case.

Greenberg and his colleague Michael Leonard said that they were withdrawing from Kelly’s team due to “significant” reasons, although did not go into detail. According to reports, tensions had been growing between them and other attorneys working on the case. Two of those lawyers, Thomas Farinella and Nicole Becker, later said that Greenberg and Leonard had actually been fired.

Kelly, of course, is currently awaiting trial in New York, Chicago and Minnesota on various charges relating to sexual abuse. He denies any wrongdoing, but has been held in custody for the last two years, due to fears that he is a flight risk and also evidence that he tampered with witnesses in a previous trial.

Three associates of the musician were arrested last year, accused of attempting to pay off or intimidate witnesses. In April, one of those men – Richard Arline Jr – pleaded guilty to offering one of Kelly’s accusers money to withdraw her allegations.