The opening statements will give prosecutors and R Kelly’s attorneys the first chance to face jurors in person on Wednesday over allegations that the R&B singer solicited a minor. sex, producing child pornography, and rigging his 2008 pornography trial.
oth prosecutors and Kelly’s legal team told the judge earlier in the week that they wanted about an hour each to tell jurors what kind of evidence they could expect to see and hear.
The proof phase of the federal trial is expected to last about a month.
Attorneys for Kelly’s two co-defendants will also speak to jurors before the government begins calling witnesses late Wednesday. Prosecutors have not said who they will call first.
The jury was arrested on Tuesday, with prosecutors and defense attorneys arguing late in the process over whether the government was inappropriately trying to keep some blacks out of jurors. group or not.
Kelly, who is black, is accused of soliciting a minor for sex, producing child pornography and correcting a 2008 state child pornography trial in which he was acquitted. judgment.
As the parties began taking on mandatory trials — in which they could remove a fixed number of potential jurors from the pool — attorney Kelly Jennifer Bonjean accused prosecutors of trying to attack the black man. black from the jury “to deny the jury of Mr. Kelly’s peers”.
Prosecutors noted that many African-Americans appeared on juries before the defense objected, and they argued that the reason for wanting to attack some people had nothing to do with race.
In one case, they said an elderly man appeared difficult to stay awake.
Judge Harry Leinenweber partially agreed with the defense, disallowing prosecutors to strike three blacks off the jury and reinstate them.
About half of the 12 juries were identified by judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys as black. Six alternatives were also selected.
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A select number of jurors watched at least part of a six-part documentary series, Surviving R Kelly, about sexual abuse allegations against the Grammy-winning singer.
See it’s not an automatic disqualification as long as a juror will assure Judge Leinenweber that they can still be impartial.
Among the 12 jurors selected were a retired real estate agent, a son who is a prosecutor, and another son who is a defense attorney. Another juror is a librarian.
Among those fired were a woman who said she had an unfavorable view of the police and the judge and a man who said he didn’t think the Internal Revenue Service should exist.
A focus of the trial will be on whether Kelly threatened and paid for a girl he alleged to have videotaped himself having sex when he was in his 30s and she was no older than 14.
It was the allegation that underpinned another charge against Kelly, conspiracy to obstruct justice.
Juries in the 2008 child pornography case acquitted Kelly, with some explaining later that they felt they had no choice because the girl presented no evidence. .
The woman, now in her 30s and referred to only in court records as Minor 1, will be the government’s primary witness.
When she gave evidence, prosecutors explained in court on Monday that they would not use her real name and would not call her Minor 1. Instead, they would call her by a unique pseud best, Jane.
Kelly, 55, was sentenced to 30 years in prison by a New York federal judge for a 2021 sentence on charges of abusing her reputation to sexually abuse other young fans.
Kelly, who rose from poverty on Chicago’s South Side to become a star singer, songwriter and producer, will be around 80 years old before qualifying for early release based on his sentence. We are being applied in New York, which he is appealing.
Kelly faces four counts of soliciting a minor to have sex, one each for four other accusers. They must also give evidence.
Two of Kelly’s associates, Derrel McDavid and Milton Brown, were co-defendants at the Chicago trial.
McDavid is accused of helping Kelly fix the trial in 2008, while Brown is accused of receiving child pornography. Like Kelly, they have also denied wrongdoing.
Minor 1 was supposed to present evidence that she had videotaped sex with Kelly.
The recording was at the heart of the month-long trial in 2008 and was played to jurors almost every day.
Prosecutors say Kelly threatened and tried to repay Minor 1 and her parents so they wouldn’t give evidence in 2008. None of them did.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/music/r-kelly-jury-to-hear-opening-statements-at-trial-in-chicago-41918003.html Juror R Kelly hears opening statement in Chicago