Illinois Prosecutors Reveal Long Awaited Plan for the First of the R.Kelly Trials

On Wednesday, Jan. 22, prosecutors revealed their plan concerning the trial cases regarding sexual assault charges against music artist R. Kelly. The plan was revealed at a hearing in Cook County that Kelly did not attend due to alleged medical reasons as stated by his defense attorney, Steve Greenberg.

As revealed by the Illinois prosecutors, the first of four trials will be tentatively scheduled for Sep. 14 of this year. While this date is the plan, R.Kelly is facing other trials in New York and Chicago for similar charges that may delay this trial.

Courtesy: The New York Times

The first of four trials that will be held in Cook County, is concerning hairdresser Lanita Carter, who claims that in 2003, R. Kelly came in for a hair appointment and forced himself on her during the time they were in the salon together. Lanita Carter was 24 years old at the time. Carter went to the police shortly after the attack, all to have the case dismissed and her charges against the music artist were rejected. She later made a public plea in 2019 for other R. Kelly victims to speak up and cooperate with investigators working against Kelly.

As previously mentioned, this is the first of four trials that are being held in Cook County, the three other victims being minors at the time of their attack, and Carter being the only adult at the time of her attack. While this will be early in the series of trials Kelly will face in Cook County, the other three victims will probably testify in Carter’s trial.

Prosecutors hope this will solidify the overall case against Kelly. Defense Attorney Greenberg expresses his opinion of the case saying that since the charges Carter made in 2003 were rejected, the case is flawed. He states to reporters,  “It hasn’t gotten any better. It’s not like wine. It doesn't get better with age.”

Kelly is faced with 20 charges in all, spread out amongst the four trials. Some of the most serious allegations involving Jerhonda Pace, who, 16 at the time, is allegedly a victim of four accounts of aggravated sexual assault at the hand of Kelly. Pace described herself as a superfan of Kelly’s and met him during the child pornography trial against R.Kelly in 2008. H.W. is another victim of Kelly’s, who met him at her 16th birthday party and had repeated sexual relations with her over the following year. Prosecutors have also shown that they have a video of R. Kelly having relations with a 14-year-old girl, identified as R.L. in the years between September 1998 and September 2001. 

Kelly also faces 13 charges in Chicago involving the bribing of witnesses and victims to change their story in court in regard to his 2008 pornography trial. In New York, Kelly also faces charges for grooming underage girls sought out at his concerts for sexual abuse.

R. Kelly is facing life in prison if he is convicted of all of the charges brought against him.

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