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R Kelly Timeline: Chicago Sun-Times Coverage

R Kelly Timeline: Chicago Sun-Times Coverage

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Originally published 6.5.2007
Originally published 6.5.2007

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Published by: Chicago Public Media on Jul 10, 2013
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Copyright 2007 Chicago Sun-Times, Inc.All Rights ReservedChicago Sun TimesJune 5, 2007 TuesdayFinal Edition
Kelly case hits 5 years: 'It's ridiculous'; Could finally go to trial this fall on child porn charges
Abdon M. Pallasch, The Chicago Sun-Times
Five years.It was five years ago today that a Cook County grand jury indicted R&B superstar R. Kelly on 21 counts of child pornography for allegedly videotaping himself engaging in sex acts with an underage girl.The case has raised eyebrows for the length of time it is taking to get to trial. No trial date has been set, though lastmonth, Judge Vincent Gaughan told prosecutors and Kelly's lawyers to draft questions for potential jurors. That's asignal the case might finally be ready to go to trial this fall.The American Bar Association says criminal cases should be resolved within a year. Michael Jackson was charged,tried and acquitted of child molestation charges since Kelly was indicted. Martha Stewart was charged, tried, convictedand served her sentence."We have been ready for trial for a long time and continue to be ready for trial," Cook County State's Attorney Dick Devine said in February.The girl, who allegedly was 14 years old when the tape of her and Kelly was made, will celebrate her 23rd birthdayin September. The longer the trial is delayed, the less she will look like a vulnerable teenager when she appears on thewitness stand."It's ridiculous that it has taken five years to get to trial," said New England School of Law Professor WendyMurphy. "There's no excuse for it. But this is a tried-and-true tactic when it comes to sex-crimes cases: 'victory bydelay.' Witnesses end up moving away. They die. You tend to see a lot of delays for defendants who are wealthy. Youdon't tend to see a lot of delays when the defendant is a poor kid from the inner city."Kelly was a poor kid from Chicago who rose from busking on L platforms to become one of the most successfulrecording artists to come out of the city. The charges have not stopped him from selling 8 million CDs over the last fiveyears. His CD "Double Up" debuted last week.Kelly's lawyers, led by Ed Genson, have said they need to examine the evidence and credentials of prosecutionexperts who will argue the videotape is authentic. Kelly's experts will challenge its authenticity. Both sides spent yearsarguing about the time frame in which the tape was allegedly made.Genson has been busy defending former Chicago Sun-Times owner Conrad Black at trial, and Judge Gaughan has been tied up in the Brown's Chicken murder trial."In more than 35 years observing criminal proceedings in Illinois, I have never seen a non-capital case take thislong," said Devine spokesman John Gorman, adding Kelly's lawyers have filed 30 motions over the five years."You see this in death penalty cases, a murder case, but a sex crimes case? This is a long time. It just seems bothsides intend to take their time," said Laurie Levenson, a law professor at Loyola University of Los Angeles."Rob is looking forward to his day in court and he's confident when all the facts come out he's going to be shown to

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