R. Kelly looked grim, standing with his hands in front of him, as his lawyer asked a Chicago judge on Wednesday (May 7) for yet another delay in his already long-delayed child-pornography trial, for which jury selection is slated to start Friday.
“We ask to continue the case,” R. Kelly‘s lawyer Ed Genson said, “because of the torrent of publicity over the weekend.”
Genson was referring to the news, which the Chicago Sun-Times published on Saturday, that one of the so called “secret witnesses” recently added to the witness list is a woman who claimed she had participated in a three way sexual encounter with the singer and the allegedly underage girl who appears on the sex tape at the heart of the charges.
The new witness’ testimony could weaken Kelly’s defense: The singer has denied that he is the man on the tape, and the girl also denied being on the tape in her grand jury testimony.
Prosecutors asked to respond to the defense request on Friday, at which time Judge Vincent Gaughan is expected to rule. Prosecutors also gave Genson a tape which he quickly explained to reporters present is “an old tape, nothing to do with these matters.”
Kelly was charged with 21 counts of child pornography in 2002 (seven of which were later dropped); he pleaded not guilty.
Jury selection begins on May 9.
Now R. Kelly faces 14 counts of child pornography: seven for directing, seven for producing.
If convicted, R. Kelly faces 15 years in prison and a $100,000 fine. If convicted, he’d have to register as a sex offender.