The R. Kelly trial appears to soon get underway. Billboard reports the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York has set jury questionnaires to be distributed between March 15 and March 25, 2021, jury selection begins April 6 and the trial kicks off on April 7.
In the state of New York Kelly is facing racketeering, coercion of a minor, transportation of a minor, and coercion to engage in illegal sexual activity relating to six different victims in crimes that spans two decades.
Donnelly requests the jury is partially sequestered for the duration of the trial. “He is charged with leading a criminal enterprise that paid out large sums over the past two decades to bribe witnesses and cover up his misconduct, and he faces a significant prison term if convicted,” wrote Donnelly of the conditions.
Michael I. Leonard, attorney for Kelly, spoke to Billboard and called the precautions taken “bizarre” and “inappropriate.” Leonard would go on to detail Kelly’s incarceration has affected his mental health.
“In terms of his mental well-being, I think he’s suffering under these COVID conditions because they had an enormous outbreak previously,” Leonard says. “It’s not a good environment to be in.”