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Judge denies R. Kelly's request to delay Chicago federal trial

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Singer R. Kelly's Chicago trial will go ahead on Aug. 1.

A judge on Monday delayed a request from Kelly's lawyer to delay the start of the trial for three months.

The R&B star faces charges of child pornography and obstruction of justice in his federal case in Chicago.

Kelly was also convicted last September on all eight counts of sex trafficking and one count of racketeering, following weeks of graphic testimony at his federal trial in New York. He faces up to life in prison.

At his New York trial, the prosecution argued Kelly ran an enterprise of assistants, bodyguards and others, all used to recruit, groom and exploit underage girls, boys and young women for his own sexual gratification.

Several women, underage at the time, accused Kelly of using them for perverse and sadistic whims. Those allegations included taking some across state lines for sex acts.

Among the claims detailed at trial – his marriage to the late R&B singer Aaliyah, and how a government worker was bribed to get her a fake ID so Kelly could marry the then-15-year-old because he feared he had gotten her pregnant.

Witnesses testified about being locked in rooms and having to ask permission to leave, or use the bathroom. Others alleged Kelly gave them herpes without disclosing he had an STD.

A handful of witnesses for the defense included former employees and associates who said they never saw Kelly abuse anyone. His lawyers argued the accusers are groupies and stalkers who sought to take advantage of his fame, and lied on the witness stand.

During its closing argument, one of his lawyers compared R. Kelly to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The federal charges against Kelly in Chicago accuse him of videotaping himself having sex with underage girls, and paying hush money and intimidating witnesses to cover up his crimes.

He also faces multiple sexual assault and sexual abuse charges at the state court level in Cook County. The first of those trials has been delayed multiple times due to the pandemic.

He's also facing charges of prostitution involving a child in Minnesota.

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