CHICAGO - For the first time since he was convicted on child pornography charges in federal court, lawyers for R. Kelly on Thursday will return to Cook County courtroom and will call on prosecutors to drop sexual assault charges against the R&B star.
Kelly last month was convicted in federal court in Chicago on child pornography charges, and this summer was handed an 80-year sentence after a jury in federal court in New York found him guilty of trafficking young girls for sex and racketeering. The 55-year-old Kelly’s upcoming sentencing on the Chicago federal charges could tack decades more time in prison.
Judge Lawrence Flood had asked prosecutors to reveal whether Kelly’s cases would move forward at Thursday’s hearing, the first in the case since Kelly’s federal trial concluded.
Steve Greenberg, the attorney representing Kelly in the Cook County cases, said local prosecutors have told him they still are reviewing the case and had not reached a decision on whether to drop the cases against Kelly.
"Moving forward with these cases would be a waste of time, a waste of the state’s resources, a waste of taxpayers’ money," Greenberg said.
CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 22: Singer R. Kelly appears in court with his attorney Steve Greenberg (L) for a hearing to request that he be allowed to travel to Dubai at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on March 22, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. R. Kelly app
Greenberg said the state-level cases carry lighter potential prison sentences than the federal counts for which Kelly already has been convicted. For any non-celebrity defendant, the Cook County cases would have been dropped after Kelly was indicted federally, Greenberg said.
The Cook County charges stem from alleged sexual abuse of minor girls that took place as far back as 1998, as well as the 2003 sexual assault of a hairstylist who 24 at the time.
Among the alleged victims is "Jane," the then-14-year-old girl whose abuse was the basis of child pornography charges filed against the singer in 2002— which Kelly beat at trial in 2008— and the Chicago federal case that concluded last month.
Another victim in the Cook County cases appears to be Jerhonda Pace, who was one of the victims who testified in Kelly’s New York case.