R. Kelly's New York sexual abuse trial is getting postponed again

R. Kelly's New York sexual abuse trial is getting postponed again
R. Kelly turns to exit during a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court building, in Chicago, Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019.Antonio Perez/ via AP Pool
  • R. Kelly's sexual abuse trial in New York has been postponed again, from April to August.
  • It's been repeatedly moved back because of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The singer remains in jail pending the New York trial, as well as another set of charges in Chicago.

R. Kelly's federal sexual abuse trial in New York has been rescheduled again, with lawyers now eyeing an August 9 trial date.

At a status conference held Tuesday morning, Judge Ann Donnelly said the trial's currently scheduled April date is unlikely because of the complications brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Federal court personnel aren't yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccines in New York, and it would be difficult for jury members to travel to and from the courthouse, Donnelly said.


Federal prosecutors in New York allege that the disgraced singer, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, ran a criminal enterprise where he kidnapped and sexually exploited young girls.

Federal prosecutors in Illinois have also accused him, in a separate case, of possessing child pornography and obstructing federal agents by bribing his victims to keep them quiet.

Kelly's Chicago trial remains scheduled for September. Both trial dates have been repeatedly pushed back since the singer was arrested in July 2019. The New York one was initially scheduled for May 2020 before the pandemic threw the court's plans into disarray.


Kelly, who's pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him, remains in jail in Chicago. His requests for release - to perform for the United Arab Emirates' royal family in Dubai and over coronavirus fears - have been denied.

Donnelly said Tuesday that prosecutors and Kelly's attorneys would reconvene in April to finalize the trial schedule.

"My April is now free," joked Kelly attorney Steven Greenberg.