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Judge says he’ll rule in R. Kelly case later this month

A Cook County judge is expected to decide in two weeks whether to throw out the child pornography charges against R&B superstar R. Kelly ? and the singer won’t even be in court. Kelly is scheduled to appear in Atlanta for a Hurricane Katrina benefit concert in late October, about the time Judge Vincent Gaughan said he plans to rule on Kelly’s motion to dismiss the case. In brief arguments Friday, one of Kelly’s attorneys, Marc Martin, argued the criminal indictment is so vague it doesn’t allow Kelly the opportunity to craft a defense. Kelly was charged three years ago with 14 counts of child pornography for allegedly videotaping himself engaging in various sex acts with an underage girl. Prosecutors have said the taping occurred within a 51-month time frame, and although they’ve since narrowed that to 33 months (from Jan. 1, 1998, to Nov. 1, 2000), the defense says it’s still too vague. Gaughan hinted in an earlier hearing he might dismiss the case if prosecutors can’t do more. But on Friday, Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Shauna Boliker argued her office had “exhausted all of our investigative resources” in trying to shrink the time frame. Boliker also argued that case law supports the prosecution’s time frame. But Gaughan interrupted, pointing out that Boliker was referring to a case involving long-term, repeated child abuse, not a single incident of making child pornography.

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