Close observers of R. Kelly’s Cook County cases might have had a touch of deja vu Tuesday during the singer’s latest hearing.
Attorneys noted in court that Kelly’s defense filed a motion months ago to dismiss one of his indictments, and prosecutors had filed a response. Defense attorney Steve Greenberg said he intended to file a similar motion soon on another of Kelly’s cases. Judge Lawrence Flood said it was time to get everything moving toward resolution.
That was strikingly similar to a hearing back in October, at which attorneys mentioned the same pending defense motion and prosecution response, Greenberg said he intended to file a similar motion soon on another of Kelly’s cases, and Flood said he was eager to get everything moving toward resolution.
On Tuesday, however, Flood said next month’s court date would be for arguments on those motions to dismiss – and that Kelly himself, who has been in federal custody for more than a year, should be in attendance.
If that happens it would be the first sign of substantive progress in Kelly’s Cook County cases since federal prosecutors in two states filed double-whammy indictments against the singer in summer 2019. The state cases were quickly overshadowed, and Kelly has since been convicted of federal sex crime-related charges in both Chicago and New York.
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Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison on the New York case; his sentencing in Chicago federal court is set for February.
Meanwhile, he still faces four separate Cook County indictments, in which prosecutors allege he sexually abused or assaulted four people, three of whom were underage girls at the time.
Greenberg months ago filed a formal request to throw out the county case related to Jerhonda Pace, a key witness in the New York federal case. That motion has yet to be argued. Greenberg has also stated he intends to file a similar request on one of the other cases, presumably the indictment centering on some of the same video footage at issue in the Chicago federal case.
Kelly was convicted in Chicago federal court in September on charges including child pornography related to his years of sexual abuse of his underage goddaughter and other girls. He was acquitted, however, of the explosive allegations that he rigged his initial Cook County trial in the 2000s.
Kelly’s 30-year sentence came after a jury in New York found him guilty of racketeering conspiracy charges alleging his musical career doubled as a criminal enterprise aimed at satisfying his predatory sexual desires.