US prosecutors have dropped their case against R Kelly after spending two weeks presenting evidence to show the singer tricked underage girls into having sex, produced child pornography and successfully rigged his 2008 state trial.
Among the final witnesses for the prosecution was a 42-year-old woman, who went by the alias Nia, who testified against the Grammy Award-winning singer as the fourth plaintiff at the trial in his hometown of Chicago.
The culmination of the prosecution’s case was evidence from a 37-year-old woman, who used the alias Jane, and described how Kelly sexually abused her hundreds of times, beginning in 1998 when she was 14 and Kelly was about 30.
Jane’s evidence is crucial to the indictment, which alleges Kelly of tampering with his 2008 child pornography trial in which he was acquitted.
She said Kelly and his associates threatened and paid her and her parents to lie to a grand jury before the trial.
Kelly’s legal team is now given a chance to challenge the government’s case. His lawyers have not said if he will testify.
The 55-year-old did not testify at his earlier federal trial in New York, where a judge sentenced him to 30 years in prison on racketeering and sex trafficking charges in June.
A conviction in Chicago could add years to that sentence.
Closing arguments in the federal trial in Chicago are expected next week.
Kelly’s 2008 state trial centered around video prosecutors said showed him sexually abusing Jane. She did not testify at the trial, but told the jury this month that she was the child in the video and Kelly was the man.
The singer sold millions of albums even after allegations of his abusing young girls became public in the 1990s.
video of the day
Widespread outrage over his sexual misconduct only arose after the MeToo billing and 2019 docuseries Surviving R Kelly.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/music/prosecution-rests-in-r-kellys-trial-fixing-and-child-pornography-case-41948372.html The charge lies in R Kelly’s criminal detention and child pornography case