Hearing may set order of R. Kelly’s Chicago sex abuse trials

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CHICAGO (AP) — Prosecutors in Chicago were expected to announce on Wednesday which of the sex charges against R&B singer R. Kelly they want to take to trial first.

The singer, who remains in jail, would not attend the hearing, his attorney Steve Greenberg said. He said he expected prosecutors to tell the judge which of the four Cook County indictments — one for each of the four women who have accused him of sexual abuse — they intend to take to trial first, with that initial trial tentatively set to begin in September.

Kelly was charged early last year on Illinois state charges alleging that he sexually abused the four women — three of whom were underage when the alleged abuse occurred — during a period of roughly 10 years starting in the late 1990s.

Kelly also faces federal charges in Illinois and New York and state charges in Minnesota that accuse him of a raft of crimes including, among others, sexual assault and orchestrating a racketeering scheme aimed at finding him girls.

Kelly’s federal trial in Chicago on charges of child pornography and obstruction of justice is scheduled to begin on April 27, though the judge left open the possibility of changing that date after Greenberg said preparing for multiple trials may make it impossible for him to be ready by April.

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