CHICAGO (AP) — R. Kelly used his reputation as an R&B superstar to sexually abuse a minor and document the abuse on video, prosecutors said Monday in a child pornography and 2008 conviction. told jurors in the singer’s federal trial for rigged state child pornography trials. .
Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Pozzolo singled out Kelly on several occasions, describing Kelly as a secret sexual predator in a closing argument in Kelly’s hometown of Chicago, where he rose from poverty. .
“Robert Kelly abused many girls over the years,” she said, referring to the 55-year-old Grammy winner’s full name. “He committed horrific crimes against children.” ..out.”
A jury is scheduled to begin hearings on Tuesday after Jennifer Bonjeen, Kelly’s lead attorney, makes closing arguments, and prosecutors make brief rebuttals.
Bonjean said the closing arguments by Kelly’s co-defendants Derell McDavid and Milton Brown’s attorneys were based on the presumption that “the world now knows Mr. Kelly is a sexual predator.” I complained and twice on Monday demanded a miscarriage of justice.
“The presumption of innocence was abolished for him,” Bonjean said of Kelly. Judge Harry Leinenweber denied the request.
Known for her smash hit “I Believe I Can Fly” and sexually charged songs like “Bump n’ Grind,” Kelly continued her Illinois lawsuit in 2008 after allegations of sexual misconduct began to circulate in the 1990s. It still sold millions of albums after the trial in . he was acquitted. There was widespread outrage after the #MeToo reckoning and his 2019 documentary Surviving R. Kelly.
Kelly and McDavid, Kelly’s former business manager, are responsible for amending the 2008 trial. Both have been charged with child pornography. Kelly’s former associate, Brown, has been accused of receiving child pornography.
Kelly has already been sentenced to 30 years in prison after another federal trial in New York in June. A conviction could last for years.
Prosecutor Pozzolo focused much of Monday’s closing argument on Kelly’s accuser, who was called “Jane” and was considered a star government witness. He testified that he had sexually abused her hundreds of times.
“He took advantage of Jane’s youth,” Pozzolo said of Kelly. “He abused her repeatedly. He performed demeaning acts on her for the pleasure of her own illness.”
Pozzolo recalled graphic video footage jurors had seen earlier at the trial. Records testified by Jane show that Kelly was around her 30 years old and had abused her when she was 14 years old. The jury at that trial later said it had no choice but to acquit Kelly because Jane did not testify.
“That abuse will be remembered forever,” Pozzolo told the jury. ”
Before Kelly’s trial in 2008, Pozzolo said, Kelly and his associates hurriedly restored several missing sex videos from a collection he often carried around in a large gym bag. .
In doing so, Kelly’s associates “tried to cover up the fact that R&B superstar R. Kelly was actually a sexual predator,” she said.
Pozzolo said the fact that Jane and three other Kelly accusers lost a lot by testifying should give jurors confidence that they told the truth on the stand.
“They opened old wounds to tell you what happened to them and who did it,” she said.
McDavid’s attorneys concluded by saying prosecutors would have to show that their client actually knew Kelly had abused Jane in the 2000s.
“They proved what he knew…behind reasonable suspicion?” asked Beau Brindley. “They didn’t.”
Earlier Monday, Pozzolo handed out bags of cash to those who helped McDavid recover lost recordings in the 2000s and returned videos McDavid knew could destroy Kelly. After handing it over, I had no idea that the allegations of abuse might be credible.
“Really? Does it make sense?” she said. “It doesn’t make sense.”
Also on Monday, a judge replaced one juror with another after a panelist reported having a panic attack while listening to closing arguments.
McDavid was the only defendant to testify at the trial, which began on August 15. Lawyers for the three co-defendants called multiple witnesses over four days, and McDavid testified as one of the three witnesses. Most of the witnesses testified in favor of all three defendants. However, McDavid eventually questioned Kelly’s credibility, undermining Kelly’s defense, saying that hearing Kelly’s accuser now testifying changed his view of the singer. There is a possibility.
Follow Michael Tarm on Twitter. https://twitter.com/mtarm The full AP article on the R. Kelly trial can be found at https://apnews.com/hub/r-kelly.
This story corrects the spelling of the prosecutor’s name. She’s Elizabeth Pozzolo, not Pozzol.
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