o. Closing arguments are scheduled Monday, Sept. 12, 2022 for R. Kelly and two co-defendants in the R&B singer’s trial on federal charges of trial-fixing, child pornography and enticing minors for sex, with jury deliberations to follow.
R. Kelly’s federal trial on charges accusing him of making child pornography and rigging his 2008 child porn trial went to the jury on Tuesday after prosecutors and the defense wrapped up their cases, AP reports.
A day after prosecutors delivered their closing argument, Kelly’s lead attorney made hers. Standing at a podium a few feet in front of the jurors, Jennifer Bonjean noted that many key government witnesses, including some of the women who accused Kelly of sexually abusing them, testified with immunity to ensure they wouldn’t be charged with previously lying to authorities.
Bonjean said they hadn’t come to the courthouse in Chicago, Kelly’s hometown, to tell the unvarnished truth. “They came in here,” she said, “to tell the government’s version of the truth.”
Among others, she cited Kelly ex-girlfriend Lisa Van Allen, who testified about how she stole a sex tape from a Kelly gym bag in the early 2000s. Bonjean also pointed to the testimony of Kelly’s former merchandizing agent Charles Freeman, who told jurors that he asked the singer for $1 million in exchange for returning another sex tape that could potentially incriminate the singer. Both testified with immunity.
“You don’t just pull out the cockroach and eat the rest of the soup,” she said, noting of the prosecution’s case: “There are just too many cockroaches.”
Bonjean reminded jurors that she told them during her opening statement that the government would rely on “perjurers, blackmailers and extortionists,” and said prosecutors had done just that.
In rebuttal, prosecutor Jeannice Appenteng cited testimony that showed as Kelly’s fame boomed around 1995, his staff and associates increasingly geared everything they did to what Kelly wanted.
“And ladies and gentlemen, what R. Kelly wanted was to have sex with young girls,” she said.
Kelly faces charges including production of child pornography, enticing minor girls for sex and obstruction of justice by rigging his 2008 child pornography trial in state court, at which he was acquitted. Jurors were expected to began deliberating later Tuesday.
“Robert Kelly abused many girls over many years,” Pozolo said, referring to the 55-year-old Grammy winner by his full first name. “He committed horrible crimes against children. … All these years later, the hidden side of Robert Kelly has come out.”
Bonjean twice called for a mistrial Monday, complaining that closing arguments by attorneys for Kelly co-defendants Derrell McDavid and Milton Brown were grounded in the presumption that “the world now knows Mr. Kelly is a sex predator.”
“The presumption of innocence has been abolished for him,” Bonjean said, meaning Kelly was unable to get a fair trial. Judge Harry Leinenweber denied the requests.
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