R Kelly, 54, goes on trial in Brooklyn on charges he was ringleader of under-age sex ring where women had to call him ‘Daddy’ and had to ask him to use the bathroom
- R. Kelly, 54, went on trial in New York Wednesday for allegedly leading a sex ring
- He is returning to court today for opening statements in the long-awaited trial
- Also faces charges in Minnesota, Illinois for alleged sex crimes in 2019 and 2020
- It comes more than a decade since Kelly was acquitted in a 2008 child porn case
Singer R. Kelly goes on trial on Brooklyn today on charges he was the ringleader of an under-age sex ring.
The R&B star, 54, has been accused to leading the sex ring where women had to call him ‘Daddy’ and had to ask him to use the bathroom.
Kelly, a three-time Grammy winner, whose songs include ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ and ‘Bump N’ Grind,’ has pleaded not guilty and strongly denied wrongdoing.
He will return to criminal court today for opening statement in his long-anticipated federal trial following years of allegations he sexually abused women and girls while pursing fame and fortune.
Singer R. Kelly (pictured performing in 2013) goes on trial on Brooklyn today on charges he was the ringleader of an under-age sex ring
The R&B star, 54, (shown in a court sketch from August 9) will return to criminal court today for opening statement in his long-anticipated federal trial following years of allegations he sexually abused women and girls while pursing fame and fortune
More than a decade has passed since Kelly was acquitted in a 2008 child pornography case in Chicago.
It was a reprieve that allowed his music career to continue until the #MeToo era caught up with him, emboldening alleged victims to come forward.
The women’s stories got wide exposure with the Lifetime documentary ‘Surviving R. Kelly.’
The series explored how an entourage of supporters protected Kelly and silenced his victims for decades, foreshadowing a federal racketeering conspiracy case that landed in Kelly in jail in 2019.
Prosecutors in Brooklyn have lined up multiple female accusers – mostly referred to in court as ‘Jane Does’ – and cooperating former associates who have never spoken publicly before about their experiences with Kelly.
They are expected to offer testimony about how Kelly’s managers, bodyguards and other employees helped him recruit women and girls – and sometimes boys – for sexual exploitation.
They say the group selected victims at concerts and other venues and arranged for them to travel to see Kelly in the New York City area and elsewhere, in violation of the Mann Act, the 1910 law that made it illegal to ‘transport any woman or girl’ across state lines ‘for any immoral purpose.’
When the women and girls arrived at their lodgings, a member of Kelly’s entourage would set down rules about not speaking to each other, how they should dress and how they needed permission from Kelly before eating or going to the bathroom, prosecutors say.
The women were also allegedly required to call the singer ‘Daddy’.
Defense lawyers have countered by saying Kelly’s alleged victims were groupies who turned up at his shows and made it known they ‘were dying to be with him.’
The women only started accusing him of abuse years later when public sentiment shifted against him, they said.
Kelly is perhaps best known for his smash hit ‘I Believe I Can Fly,’ a 1996 song that became an inspirational anthem played at school graduations, weddings, advertisements and elsewhere.
An anonymous jury made up of seven men and five women have been sworn in to hear the case.
The trial, coming after several delays due mostly to the pandemic, will unfold under coronavirus precautions restricting the press and the public to overflow courtrooms with video feeds. If convicted, he could face life in prison.
The New York case is only part of the legal peril facing the singer, born Robert Sylvester Kelly. He also has pleaded not guilty to sex-related charges in Illinois and Minnesota.
Defense lawyers have countered by saying Kelly’s alleged victims were groupies who turned up at his shows and made it known they ‘were dying to be with him’ (pictured in September 2019)
Source: Read Full Article