R. Kelly Returns To Court In Sexual Assault Case; Defense Team Still Waiting To Get Video Evidence – CBS Chicago
The singer pleaded not guilty earlier this month to 11 new counts; including aggravated criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse. The four aggravated criminal sex assault charges are class X felonies and carry prison terms of up to 30 years if he’s convicted.
Kelly’s defense team has been waiting for prosecutors to make arrangements for them to view a videotape allegedly showing Kelly abusing a 14-year-old girl.
“The state has the tape. I can’t get it from them. They have to produce it. They have an obligation to produce it,” defense attorney Steve Greenberg said after a May hearing in the case. “Maybe the squirrels are working slowly.”
Kelly is free on bond, and a judge has told him he must appear for every hearing in the case, after he missed an earlier court date because his attorneys said he was sick.
The new charges filed in May follow earlier allegations the singer sexually assaulted four women, three of them when they were minors. These latest charges in the case center on one of those victims, identified as JP.
According to the indictment, R. Kelly engaged in sex acts with JP in January 2010 “by the use of force or threat of force and … acted in such a manner as to threaten or endanger the life of JP.”
Defense attorneys have said the charges filed in May are not really new and center on the same alleged conduct involved in the original February indictment, just charged differently.
Kelly already has pleaded not guilty to the earlier charges.
Prosecutors have identified the victims only by initials, and the dates of the alleged abuse:
• H.W. (13-16 years of age), victim of four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse between May 26, 1998, and May 25, 1999;
• J.P. (13-16 years of age), victim of three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse between May 1, 2009, and Jan. 31, 2010;
• R.L. (13-16 years of age), victim of two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse between Sept. 26, 1998, and Sept. 25, 2001;
• L.C. (no age given), victim of one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse on Feb. 18, 2003.
Defense attorneys have said Kelly’s trial likely would not begin until next year.