R. Kelly returned to Chicago to help his high school mentor save her Chicago home. Photo taken at the premier of “Trapped in the Closet: Chapters 13-22” in 2007. (Creative Commons)

With a bruised ego and fresh off a reported prison assault, embattled singer R. Kelly will finally face a jury this month.

The 53-year-old singer who has spent the past year in a Chicago lockup faces a host of state and federal sex charges across multiple jurisdictions. Kelly is accused in New York and Minnesota of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits sex trafficking across state lines. He’s also accused of heading a trafficking organization that supplied him with underage girls for sex.

Illinois authorities also have charged Kelly with child pornography and obstruction of justice. Prosecutors there allege that he sexually abused multiple minors.

He’s scheduled to stand trial in the U.S. District Court of Chicago on Oct. 13. If convicted, legal experts said Kelly could receive a minimum of 10 years in prison and up to a life sentence.

In August, an inmate at the Chicago jail reportedly entered Kelly’s cell and attacked him, prompting the singer’s attorneys to seek bail for their client.  

“This incident coupled with the coronavirus restrictions at the MCC reinforces the need for Mr. Kelly to be released so he can assist in his defense with counsel and prepare for trial without the fear that his personal safety is at risk,” Kelly’s attorney, Tom Farinella, said in a statement at that time.

The “I Believe I Can Fly” singer’s troubles mounted after the 2019 documentary “Surviving R. Kelly” rekindled previous allegations that accused him of being a sexual predator.

Complete with startling interviews of alleged victims, hangers-on and others, the film revisited Kelly’s charges in 2002.

At that time, Chicago prosecutors charged Kelly with 21 counts of making child pornography.  

Six years later, Kelly’s case went to trial, but a jury concluded that the state couldn’t prove that the victim featured on a sex tape was the minor whom the singer was accused of abusing.

The panel issued not-guilty verdicts on each of the 21 counts.

Kelly has maintained his innocence. Both attorneys for the singer and prosecutors declined to comment.

Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

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