R. Kelly’s fate is now in the hands of the jury after weeks of lurid testimony in a sexual abuse trial
Vun TOM HAYS Associated Press
September 24, 2021, 9:59 p.m.
• 3 min read
NEW YORK – The fate of R. Kelly is now in the hands of a jury after weeks of horrific testimony in his sexual abuse trial.
The panel of seven men and five women began racketeering and sex trafficking lawsuits against the R&B superstar on Friday afternoon, ending the day without reaching a verdict.
A few hours into the discussions, the jurors sent the judge a note asking to review a transcript of testimony and evidence about a woman who claims Kelly sexually assaulted her in 2003 when she was a 21-year-old radio station Intern was. She confirmed she was locked up in a recording studio for days and drunk before the assassination attempt.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys closed their closing arguments this week. The 54-year-old singer is accused of having a criminal business in Chicago that recruited his charges for involuntary sex and mental pain.
Witnesses said Kelly subjected them to perverted and sadistic feelings when they were minors. He denied any insult.
Kelly “believed music, fame and prominence meant he could do whatever he wanted,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Nadia Shihata told a federal court in Brooklyn in a hostile repetition of the defense’s closing argument, which Kelly considered Victim of false accusations.
However, she added, “He is not a genius, he is a criminal. An enemy.” She added that his alleged victims “are not groupers or gold diggers. They are humans.”
The 54-year-old Kelly, perhaps best known for the 1996 smash hit “I Believe I Can Fly”, pleaded not guilty to accusing him of abusing women, girls and boys for more than two decades.
He is also charged with multiple violations of the Man Act, making it illegal to transport anyone across state lines “for any immoral purpose.”
Prosecutors say their evidence proves how Kelly, with the help of some loyal members of his entourage, used tactics from “The Predator Playbook” to sexually exploit his victims.
The tactic includes isolating them in hotel rooms or in his recording studio, subjecting them to degrading rules as they call him “Daddy” and shooting video recordings – some seen by the jury at trial – of those who have sex with him and others as a means to control them, prosecutors said.
In his closing remarks, defense attorney Deveraux Cannick told the jury that the testimony of several charges was full of lies, and that “the government is letting them live.”
Cannick claims that there was no evidence that Kelly’s charges were ever forced to do anything against her will. Instead, Cannick said, Kelly’s girlfriends got stuck because he spoiled them with free air travel, shopping trips, and fancy dinners – a treatment that besieged the enemy label.
“He gave them a great lifestyle,” he said. “That’s not what an enemy should do.”