The singer's attorneys objected to Judge Harry Leinenweber's order during a Wednesday hearing. They complained that it'd keep them from responding to comments by Kelly accusers about evidence. But prosecutor Angel Krull said four of five victims who could testify haven't spoken publicly. She added that "the vast majority of the evidence" prosecutors have against Kelly "has never seen the light of day."
Leinenweber's order isn't a gag on all comments by lawyers. They just can't speak about evidence not yet made public. The judge also said Wednesday he'd like to aim for an April 2020 trial, though he didn't set a date.
A federal judge overseeing singer R. Kelly's child-pornography case in Chicago is set to rule on how tightly he should restrict access to and mentions of the evidence.
There's little doubt Judge Harry Leinenweber will approve some form of a protective order during Wednesday's hearing. But the singer's lawyers have argued that restrictions proposed by prosecutors were too wide-reaching and could hamper their defense.
Kelly is jailed on charges that also include coercing minors to engage in sex. Marshals are transporting him to New York for a Friday arraignment on related charges. He isn't expected to attend Wednesday's Chicago hearing.
His 82-year-old judge revealed last week that before his assignment to the case this month he hadn't heard of Kelly, whose hits include "I Believe I Can Fly."