Judge to ‘Sun-Times’ Critic: Better Show Up at R. Kelly Trial Wednesday

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By: E&P Staff

The judge in R. Kelly’s child pornography trial stopped short of ordering the arrest a Chicago Sun-Times reporter who failed to appear in court on Tuesday but warned he must show up today or face contempt charges.

Judge Vincent Gaughan rejected arguments from Sun-Times lawyers that the order for Jim DeRogatis to appear violates his rights as a reporter. The judge said DeRogatis wasn’t asked to appear “as a reporter” but “as a material witness to a crime.”

After saying Tuesday morning that he would consider ordering the music critic’s arrest, Gaughan ended up later in the day issuing a new order for DeRogatis to be in court today.

DeRogatis received a sex tape in 2002, then turned it over to authorities. Prosecutors charged Kelly later that year with child pornography based on the 27-minunte video.

A visibly angry Gaughan clashed with Sun-Times attorney Damon Dunn on Tuesday, saying he didn’t accept that Illinois law granted DeRogatis a privilege not to appear while the issue was under appeal.

Sun-Times lawyers told Gaughan they filed an appeal on the matter before Tuesday’s hearing, but Gaughan said they had filed it in the wrong place. Dunn said he would push for an emergency ruling from the Illinois Appellate Court.

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