In a case that has taken six years to reach court, defense attorneys for R. Kelly are once again seeking to delay the trial for the R&B singer who is facing multiple child pornography charges.
As jury selection in Kelly's case is set to begin this Friday (May 8), according to the Chicago Tribune, legal experts and observes are doubtful that the last minute request will be granted.
The defense team filed a motion on Wednesday asking Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan to shelve the trial temporarily because of "a torrent of publicity surrounding the case."
The motion, which is being kept under seal, cites recent media coverage of the judge's decision to allow a woman to testify that she had a three-way sexual encounter with Kelly and the alleged girl shown in the videotape, Kelly's attorneys said in court Wednesday.
The judge will not rule on the request until at least Friday, the day that 150 potential jurors are scheduled to report to the courthouse. County officials also are continuing with trial preparations such as issuing press credentials and painting courtroom benches.
Legal experts say it's unlikely the judge will postpone the high-profile trial, which has languished for nearly six years. Given Kelly's celebrity status, the case would generate media attention regardless of when it's held, said Richard Kling, a professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law.
"Jurors can be questioned as to publicity, and the judge can determine whether or not they would be fair," Kling said.
Judge Gaughan has previously said the secret proceedings were essential in order to preserve Kelly's right to a fair trial and prevent the jury pool from becoming tainted.
The 40-year-old R&B singer was indicted on child pornography charges in June 2002 for allegations he had videotaped himself having sex with an underage girl. Prosecutors have said the girl may have been as young as 13 when the tape was made.
Kelly faces up to 15 years if found guilty.
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