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R. Kelly’s New York trial postponed

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 27: R. Kelly Performs During the Hliday Jam at Fox Theater on December 27, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Prince Williams/WireImage)

R. Kelly’s racketeering and sex trafficking trial in New York has been moved to September.

The ‘Ignition’ hitmaker – who is currently being held in jail in Chicago on charges including include sex trafficking, racketeering and child pornography – was set to face a trial for separate charges in New York City in July, but due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, he’s had the start of his trial moved back two months to September 29.

According to Page Six, Brooklyn federal Judge Ann Donnelly signed off on the date change on a Thursday (16.04.20) teleconference. However, Kelly’s attorney Douglas Anton doesn’t believe the new date will go ahead either, as it doesn’t give the singer’s legal team enough time to prepare their defense.

Anton said: “It’s impossible that that date is going to happen.”

Judge Ann Donnelly is keen to see the case to go trial in September, as she has said she would like to see Kelly tried on the charges before he is due in court in Chicago in October for the charges that currently see him behind bars.

The changes to Kelly’s court dates come after he filed new papers this week to request a release from Chicago’s Metropolitan Correctional Centre over coronavirus concerns.

Judge Donnelly rejected a motion Kelly filed for the same request earlier this month after she claimed there were no confirmed cases of the virus in the prison as earlier reported, but Kelly has refiled as circumstances have changed.

The disgraced singer claims there are now at least six confirmed cases among inmates, as well as a further seven members of staff.

Kelly argues that if he doesn’t get released, it’s an “absolute probability” he “will be infected with this deadly disease”. The motion also addresses claims by Donnelly, who said the singer failed to explain how he wasn’t still a flight risk.

In the documents, Kelly and his team claim he’s too “recognizable” to successfully flee the state of Illinois.

The motion reads: “[Kelly is] the most obvious and recognizable person on the streets of Chicago, or anywhere else in the country, in light of the severe stay-at-home restrictions.”

Kelly has also insisted he will agree to 24/7 surveillance and GPS monitoring to make sure he doesn’t go anywhere other than home or meet with anyone other than his lawyers.

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