Testimony has begun in R. Kelly’s federal trial.
In her opening assertion, Assistant U.S. Lawyer Maria Melendez labeled the disgraced R&B singer a “predator,” telling the jury that he was “a person who used his fame, reputation and the people at his disposal to focus on and groom ladies, boys and younger ladies for his sexual gratification,” NPR reports.
Nicole Clean Becker, Kelly’s protection lawyer, tried to make the accusers out to be liars who had been in long-term consensual relationships with Kelly.
“They’ll inform you Mr. Kelly is that this monster. You are additionally going to listen to that a few of these relationships had been stunning,” stated Becker, in accordance with NPR.
Kelly is being accused of varied crimes, together with sexual exploitation of a kid, bribery, kidnapping, compelled labor and sexual trafficking throughout state strains. He has pleaded not responsible to all expenses.
Among the many accusers current was Jerhonda Johnson Tempo, who testified that she had a sexual relationship with Kelly, even after she revealed to him that she was underage.
R. Kelly has been held in custody since July 2019, the place he awaited the beginning of his New York trial. A second federal trial in Illinois on separtate sexual abuse expenses and obstruction will comply with.
The New York trial, whose jury is made up of seven males and 5 ladies, is anticipated to final a month and includes six alleged victims.
NPR studies, federal prosecutors are structuring their case much like that of an organized crime case. They’re alleging that the singer ran a felony enterprise whose specific objective was “to prey upon younger ladies and youngsters,” and that he was aided by managers and others in his entourage who additionally trafficking the women and girls throughout state strains.