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R Kelly to be tried for child pornography

Grammy-winning singer faces up to 15 years in jail if convicted of videotaping himself having sex with an underage girl.
/ Source: The Associated Press

R. Kelly will go on trial next month, more than five years after he was charged with child pornography.

Judge Vincent Gaughan has set a Sept. 17 date for the start of a jury trial, according to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported on its Web site that setting of the date followed a lengthy meeting Wednesday among the judge, the lead prosecutor, the R&B singer and his lawyers.

Kelly, who was born Robert Sylvester Kelly, has pleaded not guilty to 14 counts of child pornography. He was charged in 2002 and is accused of engaging in videotaped sex acts with an underage girl.

Kelly’s attorneys haven’t conceded that he is on the tape, saying his likeness may have been computer generated. They have also tried to raise doubts about the identity and age of the girl.

The case has been hit with delay after delay. Since being charged, Kelly has had six best-selling albums and three nationwide tours.

The 40-year-old singer has said he’ll survive his legal tribulations.

“I’m going through my own struggle ... and you’re either gonna fold or you’re going to stand,” Kelly told The Associated Press in 2005, “and I believe in standing.”