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Jury selection underway in R. Kelly’s upcoming sex trafficking trial


Earl Gibson III/Getty Images for BET

Jury selection in the New York sex trafficking trial of R&B singer R. Kelly began Monday in Brooklyn.

According to Page Six, Kelly’s trial will begin on August 18.  The singer, whose birth name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, faces state and federal charges for sex trafficking, racketeering, coercion and other charges related to the alleged abuse and exploitation of six women over the course of 25 years.  He could be sentenced up to 20 years in prison if convicted.  

Judge Ann Donnelly oversaw the selection of several jurors on Monday, urging members of the prospective jury to remain impartial despite the serious nature of the allegations against the 54-year-old singer, who maintains his innocence.

Kelly’s Brooklyn trial has been postponed at least five times because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the most recent delay was for Kelly to review his case materials with his new legal team.  As previously reported, two of Kelly’s top lawyers withdrew from the case in June.

Kelly also faces a separate indictment in Chicago for allegations regarding child pornography.  That trial is slated to start in September.

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