Illinois prosecutors make plan for their 1st R. Kelly trial

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CHICAGO (AP) — State prosecutors said Wednesday that the first of the four Chicago sexual abuse cases against R. Kelly that they'll take to trial involves a hairdresser who alleges that Kelly tried to force himself on her during a 2003 appointment.

Kelly, who remains jailed, faces a raft of charges in several jurisdictions, including four separate indictments on Illinois state charges involving four women who accuse the singer of sexually abusing them during a roughly 10-year period starting in the late 1990s.

Of those four women, three were underage at the time of the alleged abuse. During a brief hearing Wednesday in Cook County court that Kelly didn't attend, prosecutors said the first case they'd take to trial involves Lanita Carter, who was the only one of the four who was of legal age when she says Kelly tried to force her to perform a sexual act on him.

The Associated Press generally doesn't identify alleged victims of sexual assault, but Carter, who is referred to in court documents only as “L.C.,” has spoken publicly about the case.

Cook County Judge Lawrence Flood scheduled that first trial to begin on Sept. 14, but it's possible that the the trial could be delayed. No trial dates have been set for the other three Cook County cases.

In addition to the four Cook County indictments, Kelly faces federal charges in Illinois and New York and state charges in Minnesota that accuse him of a raft of crimes. In addition to further sexual assault charges and other crimes, those indictments accuse Kelly of racketeering for allegedly overseeing a 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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