R. Kelly‘s racketeering and sex trafficking case will go on trial next year in April, a judge ordered on Thursday. Page Six says the jurors will be selected sometime in the middle of March, and the trial will start on the 7th of April.
The District Judge, Ann Donnelly, dictated the date and the terms of the singer-songwriter’s trial. Earlier this year, Donnelly claimed the jury would remain anonymous and everyone involved in it would be “partially sequestered.”
Reportedly, to be “partially sequestered” means that the jury won’t be in plain sight. Everyone on the jury will be hidden away at least enough so they can’t easily be identified by any nebulous or nefarious parties, which has been a problem for Kelly’s accusers in the past.
According to the judge, the US Marshals, (who are federal agents), will be the ones to transfer the jurors from outside to the inside of the courthouse each day. Moreover, the Marshals will ensure they won’t be bothered by members of the media or any other external influence.
Prosecutors presiding over the case argued for extra precautions to be taken because of R. Kelly‘s purported history of pressuring accusers and other people involved, in order to avoid being punished for his alleged crimes.
Regarding his 2008 child pornography trial in Chicago, where the singer-songwriter got off on all charges in an acquittal, R. Kelly had reportedly tried to influence the jury. Additionally, the prosecutors claimed three men have been arrested in recent months for trying to threaten some of the R&B artist’s accusers.
Fans of the former R&B legend know R. Kelly was famously put on trial back in 2008 for sexually abusing minors and videotaping it. However, the trial ended in an acquittal because the prosecutors had no way of proving that the man on the videotape was actually R. Kelly, himself.
Years later, and R. Kelly found himself suffering through the second wave of sexual assault allegations in the aftermath of the #MeToo movement. Furthermore, the charges against him were brought to light in a big way with Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly, a multi-part docuseries.