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Cook County judge sets September trial date for R. Kelly

Judge Lawrence Flood gave prosecutors until January to decide which of the four sex abuse cases they will take to trial first.

R Kelly Appears In Court in Chicago For Status Hearing
R. Kelly stands with his attorney, Steven Greenberg, at a fall 2019 hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse. A Cook County judge has set a Sept. 14 date for the R&B star to go to trial on any one of the four sex abuse cases pending against him.
Photo by Antonio Perez - Pool via Getty Images

A Cook County judge Wednesday set a Sept. 14 trial date for R. Kelly who is charged in four sexual abuse cases.

Cook County prosecutors in March became the first jurisdiction to file charges against the R & B singer who is accused of sexually abusing the women — three who were underage girls at the time of the alleged attacks.

The singer was subsequently charged with similar acts in federal courts here and New York, and later in state court in Minnesota.

Judge Lawrence Flood Wednesday gave Cook County prosecutors until Jan. 22 to chose which of the four cases they will take to trial first.

Kelly is expected to stand trial in May in federal court in New York. A federal judge in Chicago set an April 27 date for Kelly to stand trial on charges that he videotaped himself having sex with underage girls, and conspired with others to intimidate or buy off witnesses in a 2008 child pornography trial in Cook County that ended with his acquittal. One of the four cases now pending against Kelly in Cook County involves the same victim in the 2008 trial.

Kelly’s lawyer, who had previously objected to the Cook County cases moving forward while the federal cases still were pending, told Flood Wednesday that it was “not appropriate” to set a trial date.

“Well, I feel it’s appropriate,” Flood said, noting Kelly’s Cook County trial would commence some 18 months from the date of his March indictment.

“That’s really the concern of this court,” Flood continued. “These victims are entitled to their day in court just like the victims in the other ones.”

Kelly, who is being held without bond in his federal case, did not appear at Wednesday’s hearing.