AceShowbiz - Jailed R&B star R. Kelly is to be transferred to a New York prison ahead of his sex crimes trial this summer.
The "I Believe I Can Fly" singer has been behind bars in Chicago, Illinois, where he is facing a potential second trial later this year (2021), since his arrest in 2019.
His trial in Brooklyn federal court was halted due to the COVID pandemic, but now a date has been set for August 9 and Kelly is on the move.
Prosecutors in Brooklyn claim the singer led a ring that helped him recruit women and girls for sex. He will also be on trial for the sexual exploitation of a child, bribery, kidnapping, forced labor and enticement.
Kelly has denied the allegations, and according to his lawyer, Steve Greenberg, is looking forward to the trial. He was not in the courtroom for Thursday's date hearing, but listened in on a jail phone.
The charges against him involve six different victims.
The transfer new came after a sheriff deputy filed a request to grill Kelly in prison. Kenny Bryant asked for the court's permission four years after he sued the 54-year-old for allegedly having a 5-year affair with his wife Asia Childress. He has reportedly attempted to depose the disgraced musician for more than three years.
Kelly himself has been locked up while waiting trial on child pornography counts as well as separate racketeering and sex trafficking charges in New York. In November 2020, the singer was said to be struggling with mental health issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"In terms of his mental well-being, I think he's suffering under these COVID conditions because they had an enormous outbreak (in prison) previously," his attorney Michael I. Leonard told Billboard at the time. "It's not a good environment to be in."