A Chicago judge decided today that the child-pornography criminal case against R. Kelly, which has been pending for five years, will not be going to trial on September 17.
Judge Vincent Gaughan had previously scheduled the trial date at a hearing on August 1, but changed his mind at a status hearing after taking into consideration that the lead prosecutor, Shauna Boliker, who recently gave birth, would not be able to proceed based on doctor’s orders, according to MTV.
Neither side was permitted to comment on this new delay based on a gag order. The pre-trial phase has lasted longer than other child-pornography trials, which usually begin within a year or two of charges being filed. Many of the delays have been medical in nature, such as when Kelly needed emergency surgery for a burst appendix in February, and when Judge Gaughan fell off a ladder, causing multiple fractures, last summer.
Kelly was charged with 21 counts of child pornography in 2002 (seven of which were later dropped) for allegedly videotaping himself having sex with a girl prosecutors said was 14 years old at the time. He pleaded not guilty.
The next status hearing in the case is set for Monday. If Kelly is convicted of the charges, he faces up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.