R. Kelly, who was sentenced to 30 years in prison earlier this year for racketeering and sex trafficking, is on trial again this week, ending prosecutors’ efforts to hold him criminally responsible for allegations of sexual abuse. The next chapter begins. Over 30 years.
The trial took place in Chicago, which Mr. Kelly has long called home, and his first criminal trial took place in 2008.
This time, federal prosecutors are seeking to hold Kelly and his associates accountable for working to obstruct an earlier trial in which a jury acquitted Kelly of creating child sexual abuse images. They said Kelly and former employee Derell McDavid, who is also on trial, arranged hush money payments and would have helped prosecutors when they were investigating the singer in the early 2000s. He is accused of trying to cover up evidence.
Kelly, 55, will face charges of coercing five minors to have sex, as well as several charges related to creating child sexual abuse images. He and McDavid were also charged with receiving child sexual abuse images during what prosecutors described as a plan to retrieve missing tapes of Kelly having sex with a minor. ing.
A third man — another former Mr. Kelly employee, Milton Brown — faces related charges. All three men have pleaded not guilty.
The trial will come as a surprise to many in Chicago who have seen Kelly grow from city kid to pop and R&B star and fall under accusations of letting an underage girl into his orbit. will be an emotional moment.
“Chicago has always struggled with this because he’s a local and we tend to stand up for the locals,” says the Lifetime documentary series Surviving R. Teenager at a Local McDonald’s. Adult singer approaching a young girl: “There are people who are very upset and try to reassure the girls that they are at fault. I am one of them. There are people who will say that 59,000 times. He is very adult men preying on young women and children in
Allegations of abuse were first made public in a 1996 lawsuit. article continued 20 years from now. A new effort to prosecute Kelly came in 2019. This follows a Lifetime documentary broadcast account of a woman who described being abused and controlled by Kelly as a teenager.
A year ago, Kelly went on trial in New York, where a jury found him guilty of leading a decades-long scheme to recruit women and underage girls for sex. He began serving 30 years in Brooklyn before being transferred to a federal prison in Chicago for his current trial.
What happened in the 2008 trial?
The 2008 trial resulted in Mr. Kelly being indicted in a 2002 grand jury on 21 child pornography charges, later reduced to 14. During that time, the singer debuted some of the biggest hits of his career, including “Ignition” and “Step in the Name of Love.”
The trial revolved around prosecutors revealing a 27-minute tape showing Kelly having sex with a teenage girl and urinating on her. The case hinged on whether the jury was convinced that the people on the tape were who the prosecutor said they were. and neither testified at trial.
A jury found Kelly not guilty on all charges, and after the verdict was rendered, the jury said the young woman’s refusal to testify was a significant barrier to conviction. rice field.
How is it relevant to the current trial?
Part of the trial involved Kelly and his colleague McDavid colluding to retaliate against those who knew of Kelly’s abuses and to try to cover up evidence to sabotage earlier federal investigations. focus on the sins committed.
Prosecutors accused a minor on tape of persuading a grand jury in the early 2000s to deny that she had a sexual relationship with Kelly, and that it was her in the 27-minute video. I blame Kelly. Over a period of about 15 years, Kelly and McDavid arranged payments and purchased gifts to keep minors and their parents from telling law enforcement about their abuse, according to the federal indictment.
These hush-up payments are part of a broader effort to conceal evidence of Kelly’s sexual abuse from investigators, prosecutors said.
In 2001, Kelly and his associates accused the singer of sexually abusing minors after state officials opened an investigation into whether Kelly had been child abuser at the center of a 2008 trial. I noticed that I had lost several videotapes of Case. Kelly and McDavid launched a multi-year effort to return the videos, paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to unnamed individuals to retrieve them, according to the indictment.
Around the time of the first trial in Chicago, prosecutors held a press conference about the existence of footage of Kelly having sex with a minor by someone Kelly and McDavid had hired to find the missing video. said to have planned Kelly, McDavid and others paid $170,000 to cancel, according to the indictment.
The charges against receiving child sexual abuse images relate to efforts to restore some missing videos of Kelly having sex with a central figure in the 2008 trial.
Who is expected to testify?
Prosecutors have not specified exactly who they will ask to testify, but court documents show they enlisted the woman and mother whose testimony was missing in 2008.
The indictment also states that Kelly cooperated with the prosecution with the help of four other witnesses who allege she coerced them into having sex between 1996 and 2001 when she was a minor. suggests.
Judge Harry D. Leinenweber, who is presiding over the case, recently ruled that accusers who are called to testify can use pseudonyms to testify.
Kelly’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjeen, did not respond to a request for comment on the matter. Kelly did not testify at the Brooklyn trial.
and tweet last weekBonjean wrote that it would be difficult to find a fair 12-member jury “given the media warfare against my clients.”
“The government starts off with an incredible edge, but we’re going to fight desperately to get a law-abiding jury,” she wrote.
How is the Chicago trial different from the Brooklyn trial?
These trials are likely similar in that prosecutors’ cases centered around the testimony of those who say Mr. Kelly solicited them for sexual purposes, but the legal approaches differ.
In Brooklyn, Mr. Kelly was convicted of racketeering based on allegations that he was the mastermind of a criminal gang that committed acts of bribery, kidnapping and forced labor. He was also convicted of eight offenses. Mann methodSex Trafficking Act.
The charges are similarly complex in the trial, which begins this week in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Kelly faces five counts of coercing a minor into committing a sexual offense. He counts four to do so for the purpose of making a video of the act. Her two counts of receiving child pornography. He was charged with conspiring to receive child pornography. He faces one count of conspiracy to obstruct a federal investigation.
One of the less-represented parts of Ms. Kelly’s history is her illegitimate marriage to singer Aaliyah when she was 15 and Ms. Kelly was 27. Kelly testified that she sexually abused Aaliyah, who died in a 2001 plane crash, when she was 13 or when she was 14.
Kelly’s defense team asked a judge at the Chicago trial to rule out evidence related to the marriage, and prosecutors said they would not provide evidence in the matter.
Is R. Kelly facing other criminal charges?
yes. Kelly is still facing sex crimes charges in Illinois and Minnesota. After a federal trial in Chicago, these charges will be dealt with next.