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R. Kelly decides not to testify in sex trafficking trial By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO R. Kelly attends a hearing at Leighton Criminal Court Building, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A, June 26, 2019. E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

By Tyler Clifford

NEW YORK (Reuters) – R. Kelly said on Wednesday he will not testify in his own defense at his sex trafficking trial in Brooklyn, where the government accused the R&B singer of grooming and sexually abusing women and underage girls.

Kelly, 54, announced his intention after five witnesses spoke in his defense over nearly two days, following 4-1/2 weeks of testimony from prosecution witnesses

Kelly replied, “No ma’am,” to U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly, when asked if he was willing to testify. He isn’t required. Kelly stated that he was fully aware of the implications.

The closing arguments are scheduled to start on Wednesday. Jurors will then begin deliberating in the morning.

Kelly (real name Robert Sylvester Kelly) had previously pleaded guilty to one count each of racketeering, and eight of illegally transporting prostitutes across state borders.

The prosecution tried to paint Kelly as an immature predator who profited from his fame in order to get people to join his circle. They would be punished or required to obey him.

Kelly has repeatedly denied sexual abuse accusations, which have dogged him for about two decades.

On Wednesday, Julius Darrington (music industry executive) testified that Kelly used to spend 10-to 12-hour days with him after meeting him back in 2016.

Darrington stated that he had never witnessed Kelly striking anyone or heard women screaming in rooms.

Elizabeth Geddes, prosecutor of Darrington, tried to stress that Darrington didn’t monitor Kelly 24 hours a day.

Correct? “You don’t know what Darrington did behind closed doors, right?” She asked.

Darrington answered, “Correct,”

Kelly faces criminal prosecution in Chicago federal court, as well as state charges in Illinois (and Minnesota).

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