By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS) — R. Kelly won’t go to trial in Chicago until next September, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.

This was yet another delay in the singer’s trial because of concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Federal prosecutors in Chicago have charged Kelly with videotaping himself having sex with underage girls, and paying hush money and intimidating witnesses to cover up his crimes. That trial had initially been scheduled for this past October.

It has been postponed twice and is now set to start Sept. 13, 2021. Kelly has been in the federal lockup since his arrest on child pornography and other charges in July 2019.

Kelly is also facing sex abuse charges in New York and Minnesota.

Federal prosecutors in New York have accused Kelly of 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 feds have said Kelly preyed on young women dreaming of meeting a superstar, and used his celebrity to coax some victims into “nefarious sex acts” while members of his entourage facilitated his conduct.

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Court documents indicate that Kelly met one victim at a concert, and another at a radio station. Prosecutors claim Kelly arranged for some victims to meet him on the road for illegal sex.

Federal prosecutors said Kelly and his managers, bodyguards, and other employees acted as a criminal enterprise to recruit women and girls to engage in illegal sexual activity with Kelly. Kelly and his enterprise would pick out women and girls who attended his concerts and other events; and arranged for them to travel to see Kelly. He would later hold them against their will, according to the feds.

Once the women and girls Kelly had picked started staying with him, he and his employees would set rules his victims had to follow, including not leaving their rooms without Kelly’s permission, even to eat or go to the bathroom; not looking at other men; to wear baggy clothing whenever they weren’t with him; demanding absolute commitment to Kelly; and calling the singer “Daddy.”

Prosecutors claim Kelly coerced some of the girls he’d abused to engage in sexually explicit conduct on video, which he later had shipped across state lines.

Meanwhile, Cook County prosecutors have charged Kelly with multiple counts of sexual assault and sexual abuse against four women years ago. The first of those trials was scheduled for September, but has been delayed.

Minnesota prosecutors have charged him with engaging in prostitution with an underage girl. No trial date has been set in that case.

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CBS 2 Chicago Staff