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R. Kelly moved to general population, gets April trial date for federal sex crimes case in Chicago


This file booking photo obtained from the Chicago Police Department on February 23, 2019, shows singer R. Kelly. (HO/AFP/Getty Images)

R. Kelly is due to go on trial next April in his federal sex crimes case in Chicago, a judge ruled Wednesday.

The R&B singer accused of coercing minors into sex acts, videotaping the abuse and using money and threats to cover up his crimes is due to stand trial April 27, a judge in the Northern District of Illinois said at a hearing.

The trial is expected to last three weeks.

Kelly, 52, appeared at the hearing wearing an orange jail uniform. Several supporters waved at the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer as he was led back to jail, and he nodded in their direction, the Associated Press reported.

Defense lawyer Steve Greenberg argued against the April start date, saying it was too soon considering the singer is also battling a federal sex trafficking indictment in Brooklyn and state charges in Illinois and Minnesota.

The judge said the trial could be pushed back if necessary and set a follow-up hearing for Sept. 18.

After the hearing, Kelly’s lawyers said they plan to keep pushing for the singer’s release on bond.

News of Kelly’s date with a jury came shortly after prosecutors revealed in a court filing that the Grammy winner was transferred to general population at his federal jail in Chicago on Tuesday.

In the paperwork, U.S. Attorney John Lausch slammed Kelly’s complaints he was being held in “solitary confinement” against his will. He said Kelly “refused” to accept a cellmate and even griped to staff that he was “told that he didn’t have to take a cellie."

“If I go to population it’s...I’m just up on everybody and everybody’s up on me, and I’m trying to figure out how to trust that or whatever,” Kelly said in a recorded jail call July 19, Lausch wrote.

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Lausch also scoffed at Kelly’s claims he was denied “meaningful” human interaction and access to snacks in the commissary while held in the jail’s high-security Special Housing Unit after his July 11 arrest.

“Since his arrest, defendant has had three phone calls and seven social visits, not including attorney phone calls and visits,” Laush wrote in his filing. “Since his arrest, defendant has purchased items from the commissary, including snacks such as Snickers.”

Kelly has been in federal custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago since his July arrest except for Aug. 1 to 7, when he was transported to Brooklyn for an arraignment on sex trafficking and racketeering charges filed by federal prosecutors with the Eastern District of New York.

The judge in New York has not yet set a trial date in that case.

With News Wire Services