R. Kelly trial: Accuser and star witness testify


A woman who prosecutors say R. Kelly sexually manipulated starting when she was about 14 years old stood before a witness Thursday in Kelly’s child pornography case and obstructed a trial justice, becoming the first accuser to testify in the singer’s hometown of Chicago.

The woman – now 37 and referred to in pre-trial filings as “Minor 1” and during trial by the pseudonym “Jane” – has been a central figure in Kelly’s legal troubles. over the past 20 years. Prosecutors say a video of Kelly filming herself having sex with Jane circa 2000 led to the first investigation into the singer.

At first, speaking softly and hesitantly, Jane describes her upbringing in a musical family in suburban Chicago, including how she was homeschooled because she joined a touring band that she joined at the age of 12.

Among the most serious charges the Grammy winner faced in federal court was conspiracy to obstruct justice by allegedly rigging a 2008 trial on state child pornography charges. comes from a purported video of him and Jane having sex. Among other things, prosecutors say Kelly paid the price and threatened Jane to make sure she didn’t testify at that trial. She didn’t, and he was eventually acquitted.

Kelly is also on trial on charges of producing child pornography and luring a minor to have sex.

Unlike at the 2008 trial, Jane cooperated with prosecutors leading up to the current trial and is a key witness.

A sentence in Chicago could stretch into decades with the 30-year prison sentence he received from a New York federal judge this year for being found guilty of abusing his reputation for sexual abuse. educate other young fans. Various accusers testified at that trial.

Jane first met Kelly in the late 1990s when she was in middle school. She followed Kelly’s recording studio in Chicago with her aunt, a professional singer who worked with Kelly. Soon after that meeting, Jane told her parents that Kelly would become her godfather.

Prosecutors say Kelly videotaped Jane in a wooden cabin-themed room at his North Side Chicago home between 1998 and 2000, when she was 13 years old. In it, the girl is heard calling the man “dad”. Federal prosecutors say she and Kelly had sex hundreds of times over the years at his home, recording studio and tour bus.

Kelly, who rose from poverty on Chicago’s South Side to become a star singer, songwriter, and producer, knew that 2008 conviction would effectively end her life, and so prosecutors say he conspired to fix that trial.

According to prosecutors, Kelly told her parents and Jane to leave Chicago, paying for them to travel to the Bahamas and Cancun, Mexico. When they returned, prosecutors say Kelly sought to isolate Jane, moving her to different hotels. When called before a state grand jury to review the video, Jane, her father and mother denied that she was in it.

Tears streamed down his face on June 13, 2008, when he was acquitted of all child pornography charges. Several jurors told reporters after the trial that they did not believe the woman in the video was who state prosecutors had said.

Before the 2008 trial, Kelly carried a duffel bag filled with sex tapes everywhere for years, but some of the tapes later went missing, according to court records. In the 2000s, pirated copies of some videos appeared on street corners all over the United States

In the early 2000s, the aunt showed her parents a copy of a video where she said their daughter had sex with Kelly. When they confronted Kelly, he told them, “You’re with me or against me,” a government filing said.

Parents see it as a threat.

Kelly, who has denied any wrongdoing, has been plagued by decades of complaints and allegations of her sexual conduct. Increased scrutiny after the .MeToo era and the 2019 six-part documentary “Surviving R. Kelly”.

Kelly also faces four counts of soliciting a minor to have sex – one each for the other four accusers. They must also testify.

Prosecutors told jurors that evidence included at least three videos showing Kelly having sex with underage girls.

Two of Kelly’s associates, Derrel McDavid and Milton Brown, were co-defendants. McDavid is accused of helping Kelly fix the 2008 trial, while Brown is accused of receiving child pornography. Like Kelly, they have also denied wrongdoing.

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