R. Kelly appeared via video in a Brooklyn federal courtroom where a judge said she will need to round up hundreds of potential jurors when the high-profile sex-trafficking case goes to trial.
The singer, who is now in a Chicago prison, kept mostly quiet and looked attentive as he appeared at the hearing on a video screen.
“Good afternoon, ma’am,” Kelly, wearing an orange, short-sleeved jail top, said to Brooklyn Federal Judge Ann Donnelly as the hearing began.
The Brooklyn case had been scheduled to go to trial in May, but Donnelly said that the date was “somewhat unrealistic” and moved it to July 7, citing the fact that Kelly’s federal case in Illinois is going to trial in April.
Donnelly said Kelly’s trial would need a pool of about 200 potential jurors and she expects about 500 questionnaires to be sent out to pre-screen candidates.
“We need to leave enough time to get our jury in place,” the judge said.
Donnelly said the trial should take three or four weeks.
Kelly faces a raft of charges in Brooklyn that include sex trafficking, racketeering and child pornography.
The singer, who has a fear of flying in airplanes, last appeared by video in Brooklyn federal in December, when he pleaded not guilty to a bribery charge added to his New York case related to his illicit marriage to Aaliyah.
Kelly, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, is also charged in Chicago federal court with enticing minors to have sex and with producing and receiving child pornography.
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He also faces state court sex abuse charges in Chicago and prostitution charges in Minneapolis.