Saying he had concerns about the case being “tried in the public domain,” a federal judge in Chicago Wednesday approved a protective order in the child pornography and obstruction case against R. Kelly, according to the Chicago Tribune.
In the course of the argument — which is in favor of an order prohibiting attorneys on either side from talking in detail about evidence turned over in advance of trial —prosecutors revealed for the first time that, as speculated by reporters, many of the alleged victims in the case have never before publicly come forward.
One attorney, Angel Krull, said that only one of the five victims referred to in the indictment was featured in the Lifetime documentary series “Surviving R. Kelly,” which helped set off this year’s renewed public outrage against the singer.
“The vast majority of our evidence has never seen the light of day,” Krull told U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber.
Attorneys for the singer and his co-defendants — former business manager Derrel McDavid and ex-employee Milton “June” Brown — argued the protective order would essentially prevent them from rebutting any accusations made in public by alleged victims or witnesses. All three defendants have pleaded not guilty.
In approving the protective order, the judge added that lawyers for the defendants could return and ask for it to be lifted or modified. “What we are concerned with in a case like this is people trying the case in the public domain as opposed to court,” Leinenweber said.
Last month the singer was hit with a total of 18 counts of serious sexual misconduct against multiple women, several of whom were underage at the time, and other charges in Chicago and New York, Kelly, who is being held without bond at a jail in Chicago, is expected to be brought to Brooklyn by the U.S. Marshals Service for an arraignment Friday.