Jury selection starts in R. Kelly sex trafficking case

NEW YORK – Immediately after several delays, the first period of the intercourse trafficking trial of R&B hitmaker R. Kelly commenced Monday with jury assortment in New York Town.

U.S. District Decide Ann Donnelly began questioning likely jurors about no matter if they can retain an open head about Kelly two decades after he was billed with abusing ladies and women for practically two a long time. She reminded them the defendant was presumed innocent and that they need to not be affected by anything they’ve earlier read about the situation.

The continuing was staying conducted amid coronavirus pandemic safeguards proscribing the push and the public to overflow courtrooms with video feeds.

Kelly, 54, has been locked up because he was indicted, typically housed in a federal jail in Chicago. He was moved past month to the federal Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn to face trial in a case which is further more diminished his superstar status.


Very last week, defense attorney Deveraux Cannick explained to a choose that Kelly desires to be measured for new garments since he’s gained so substantially excess weight in jail. And he requested that court transcripts be offered at no price since Kelly has been not able to operate for two many years, indicating: “His cash are depleted.”

The Grammy-successful, multiplatinum-promoting singer has denied any wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty to charges accusing him of major an company of supervisors, bodyguards and other workforce who assisted him recruit girls and ladies for sexual intercourse. Federal prosecutors say the team selected victims at live shows and other venues and organized for them to travel to see Kelly.

Protection attorneys have claimed Kelly’s alleged victims ended up groupies who turned up at his shows and built it identified they “were dying to be with him.” They only started out accusing him of abuse years later on when public sentiment shifted in the #MeToo era, they stated.


The trial experienced been envisioned to start off before in the calendar year. But opening statements have been moved to Aug. 18 immediately after Kelly fired his authentic defense workforce.

Jurors are expected to hear testimony from a number of of his accusers. A choose has ruled that the girls will only be referred to by their first names.

Prosecutors also are envisioned to supply evidence that Kelly schemed with others to spend for a phony ID for Aaliyah, a singer on the increase at 15 a long time previous, in a key ceremony in 1994.

Aaliyah is discovered as “Jane Doe #1” in court papers simply because she was still a small when Kelly began a sexual relationship with her and believed she experienced become pregnant, the papers say.

“As a result, in an effort to protect himself from prison costs relevant to his illegal sexual relationship with Jane Doe #1, Kelly arranged to secretly marry her to avoid her from being compelled to testify from him in the upcoming,” the papers say.


Aaliyah, whose total title was Aaliyah Dana Haughton, worked with Kelly, who wrote and developed her 1994 debut album, “Age Ain’t Very little But A Amount.” She died in a plane crash in 2001 at age 22.

The case is only part of the lawful peril dealing with the singer, born Robert Sylvester Kelly. He also has pleaded not guilty to intercourse-similar charges in Illinois and Minnesota.

Kelly received various Grammys for “I Believe I Can Fly,” a 1996 track that grew to become an inspirational anthem performed at faculty graduations, weddings, advertisements and somewhere else.

Almost a ten years afterwards, he began releasing what at some point grew to become 22 musical chapters of “Trapped in the Closet,” a drama that spins a tale of sexual deceit and turned a cult basic.

But Kelly has been trailed for decades by problems and allegations about his sexual actions, including a 2002 baby pornography circumstance in Chicago. He was acquitted in that situation in 2008.


Scrutiny intensified once more amid the #MeToo motion in the latest decades, with several females likely community with accusations in opposition to the singer. The stress intensified with the launch of the Life time documentary “Surviving R. Kelly” in 2019.

Felony costs shortly adopted.

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