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R. Kelly asks for another delay in his sex trafficking trial in New York because of Covid quarantine

R. Kelly has asked for another delay in his sex trafficking trial in New York after he was forced to quarantine for 14 days on arrival in his new jail. 

Lawyers for the disgraced singer, 54, argued they have not had enough time to prepare for a hearing on August 9 because of the mandatory prison quarantine following his transfer from Chicago.  

In a letter Monday to US District Judge Ann Donnelly, lawyer Deveraux Cannick wrote that Kelly’s quarantine ending today has exacerbated a ‘herculean effort’ to get up to speed after their June 21 hiring.

Cannick argued Kelly’s new lawyers have not been able to meet with him in person because of the quarantine and that proceeding with the R&B star’s trial as scheduled would rob him of effective and meaningful representation.

Kelly, 54, is accused of leading an enterprise made up of his managers, bodyguards and other employees who helped him recruit women and girls for sex. 

Federal prosecutors say the group selected victims at concerts and other venues and arranged for them to travel to see Kelly. The Grammy Award-winning singer denies ever abusing anyone.

 Disgrace singer R. Kelly has asked for another delay in his sex trafficking trial in New York after he was forced to quarantine for 14 days on arrival in his new jail

The disgraced singer is awaiting trial on an array of sex trafficking charges in New York and o Chicago. The 54-year-old's New York City trial begins August 9. Pictured, in September 2019

The disgraced singer is awaiting trial on an array of sex trafficking charges in New York and o Chicago. The 54-year-old’s New York City trial begins August 9. Pictured, in September 2019

Kelly, whose legal name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, was placed in quarantine when he arrived at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn on June 22 from Chicago, where he was being held on similar charges. 

Today marks 14 days since Kelly’s transfer to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, the same jail as Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged madam who is also awaiting a sex trafficking trial.

‘Robert is anxious to have his day in court; however not at the expense of his Sixth Amendment rights,’ Cannick wrote, saying the request was not a delay tactic.

Federal prosecutors had not responded to Cannick’s request as of Monday night and declined to comment. Donnelly has yet to rule on the filing.

R. Kelly appears via video screen from Chicago beside lawyers and Judge Ann Donnelly during a hearing ahead of his August sex abuse trial in New York on June 17

R. Kelly appears via video screen from Chicago beside lawyers and Judge Ann Donnelly during a hearing ahead of his August sex abuse trial in New York on June 17

Today marks 14 days since Kelly's transfer to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn (pictured) the same jail as Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein's alleged madam who is also awaiting a sex trafficking trial

Today marks 14 days since Kelly’s transfer to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn (pictured) the same jail as Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged madam who is also awaiting a sex trafficking trial  

Federal lockups have been quarantining transferred and newly incarcerated inmates since early in the Covid pandemic as part of protocols to prevent the spread of the virus.  

Cannick said that once Kelly’s quarantine ends and he is cleared to meet with his lawyers, they will be forced to jockey for one of a limited number of conference rooms at the Brooklyn jail. 

If a room is not available, he wrote, the will have to meet with Kelly at a table alongside other lawyers and inmates.

‘The nature of the evidence here does not lend itself to open frank discussions in such an environment,’ Cannick wrote.

Kelly is facing a range of charges including racketeering and sex trafficking.

He is also facing state charges in Minnesota, Illinois and New York but his federal trial will happen first. It was delayed several times since the Covid-19 pandemic began. 

During the last 18 months, his lawyers have asked repeatedly for him to be released, claiming his health was at risk. 

He was charged in the wake of the docuseries Surviving R. Kelly, where multiple women told their stories of being abused by him.

Federal charges in Chicago accuse Kelly of filming himself having sex with underage girls and of paying off potential witnesses in his 2008 trial – where he was acquitted – to get them to change their stories.  

Kelly is facing a range of charges including racketeering and sex trafficking. He is also facing state charges in Minnesota, Illinois and New York but his federal trial will happen first (pictured in September 2019)

Kelly is facing a range of charges including racketeering and sex trafficking. He is also facing state charges in Minnesota, Illinois and New York but his federal trial will happen first (pictured in September 2019) 

In the docuseries, several women claimed that he and his entourage starved them and deprived them of their cellphones. 

They allegedly controlled when the women slept, and also forced them to have sex with each other. 

He has always denied any wrongdoing and in an interview with Gayle King, he exploded and claimed he was the victim of a set-up.  

If convicted, Kelly could spend the rest of his life in prison. 


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