CHICAGO (CBS) — A Cook County judge has set a September trial date for singer R. Kelly, who is charged in four sexual assault and abuse cases in Chicago.
But prosecutors have yet to decide which of the four cases will go to trial first.
Kelly is facing four separate indictments in Cook County, involving multiple counts of sexual assault and sexual abuse against four women years ago. Three of the alleged victims were children at the time, according to prosecutors.
Kelly was first indicted on 10 counts of criminal sexual abuse in February, accusing him of abusing four different victims.
In May, prosecutors filed upgraded charges involving one of those victims; 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.
On Wednesday, Judge Lawrence Flood scheduled a tentative trial date of Sept. 14 for Kelly, and gave Cook County prosecutors until Jan. 22 to decide which of the four cases they will proceed with first.
Kelly, who is being held in federal custody without bond, and was not at Wednesday’s hearing, also faces two separate trials on sex crime charges in federal courts in Chicago and New York.
He also is charged with engaging in prostitution with an underage girl in Minnesota, but no trial date has been set in that case.
A 13-count federal indictment in Chicago accused Kelly of videotaping himself having sex with underage girls, and paying hush money and intimidating witnesses to cover up his crimes. Federal prosecutors say he sexually abused five girls in the late 1990s, made videos of four of the victims, and then tried to cover it up.
The charges also include allegations he paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to recover tapes of him sexually abusing the girl at the center of his 2008 child pornography trial and coerced the victim to lie about what happened.
His federal trial in Chicago is scheduled for April 27.
In the New York case, Kelly is using his fame to recruit young women and girls for illegal sexual activity. The racketeering case also accuses him of kidnapping, sexual exploitation of a child and forced labor. The defense has labeled the accusers disgruntled groupies.
Kelly’s federal trial in New York is scheduled for May 18.