Prosecutors rest case against R. Kelly after month of testimony By Reuters
© Reuters. R. Kelly is watching as Elizabeth Geddes, Assistant U.S. attorney, speaks in his sex abuse case at Brooklyn’s Federal District Court, in a sketch courtroom in New York. September 20, 2021. REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg
By Tyler Clifford
NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. prosecutors on Monday rested their sex trafficking case against R. Kelly, after a month of often disturbing and graphic testimony from people who accused the R&B singer of sexually abusing women and girls.
A Friday testimony by a psychologist, who testified in Brooklyn federal court on Friday concluded the prosecution’s case against R. Kelly.
Kelly’s lawyer Calvin Scholar started the defense with a musician who claimed he knew Kelly since 2005 and viewed him as a mentor. He said that he saw him as someone who would “observe and learn” and never witnessed any illicit behavior toward the victims.
Kelly never requested that the witness have sex. The witness who goes by the name Da Ni also claimed that he did not ask Kelly for sex.
Maria Cruz Melendez the prosecutor tried cross-examination on the witness in an attempt to demonstrate that he wasn’t close to Kelly. He wanted to be on Kelly’s good side and help him advance his own music careers, but this never came to fruition.
Kelly (real name Robert Sylvester Kelly) pleaded guilty to eight charges of illegally transporting persons across state borders for prostitution.
Kelly is being accused by the prosecution of grooming and preying upon girls and women as early as the mid-90s. Kelly was a star in his own music, including “I Believe I Can Fly”, a 1996 Grammy winner.
Kelly’s alleged victims are Aaliyah who was just 15 years old when Kelly illegally married her in 1994. Aaliyah was killed in an airplane crash in 2001, after which Kelly annulled the marriage.
Jurors heard from numerous women and ex-employees who testified that Kelly kept tight control of his entourage since the Aug. 18 trial.
Many witnesses claim Kelly was angry when people violated “Rob”‘s rules, such as not being allowed to use the toilet or speak with other people. He also demanded that accusers write him “apology letters” in order to absolve them of any wrongdoing.
Kelly was accused by witnesses of not telling them before they had intercourse that Kelly had sexually transmitted disease herpes.
Kelly’s accusers have been described by defense lawyers as former employees who were unable to make a living from Kelly’s success.
Inquiring about why Kelly’s former employees and accusers didn’t quit Kelly sooner, or to report to police immediately, they also sought to understand the reasons for their delay and how long it took them to reveal this information.
One-half dozen witnesses could testify in defense.
Kelly was subject to increased scrutiny after the #MeToo movement in 2017 and Lifetime’s documentary, “Surviving R. Kelly,” aired in January 2019.
Kelly is still facing sex-related criminal charges in Minnesota and Illinois, regardless of what happens at the Brooklyn trial.
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