R. Kelly's Chicago trial on child pornography charges set for August 2022

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R. Kelly was ordered to stand trial in Chicago on child pornography and obstruction of justice charges next summer.

U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber appeared to have wanted the trial in Chicago to begin earlier, but he set it for Aug. 1 after one of Kelly’s attorneys, Steven Greenberg, said that he and another of Kelly’s attorneys will be in trial on other cases through July.

The trial date comes after the scheduled sentencing for his conviction in an earlier sex trafficking trial in New York.

Attorneys told the judge during the brief hearing that they estimated the trial of Kelly and co-defendants Derrell McDavid and Milton “June” Brown would last three to four weeks.

R. Kelly appears during a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago on September 17, 2019. 
(Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

The 54-year-old, who remains jailed in New York, was listening to the hearing on a conference call but he did not speak. His sentencing there is scheduled for May 4 and he faces up to life in prison.

Kelly, who was born Robert Sylvester Kelly, is also facing four separate indictments alleging sexual abuse in state court in Chicago and a child prostitution charge in Minnesota.

In this courtroom artist’s sketch R. Kelly, left, listens during his trial in New York, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. The 54-year-old Kelly has repeatedly denied accusations that he preyed on several alleged victims during a 30-year career highlighted by his mega hit ‘I Believe I Can Fly.’
(AP Photo/Elizabeth Williams)

Experts have said there is a possibility that prosecutors could drop the charges in state court if he receives a lengthy prison sentence in New York. But there is virtually no chance that the federal charges in Chicago will be dropped.

R. Kelly, center, arrives at the Leighton Criminal Court building for an arraignment on sex-related felonies in Chicago. 
(Amr Alfiky)

Kelly, who has been jailed without bail since 2019, was convicted last month by a federal jury in New York on racketeering conspiracy charges and other counts. Greenberg said on Wednesday that after the trial, Kelly was placed on suicide watch but that has ended.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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