Prosecutors Take A Break During R. Kelly’s Federal Trial In Chicago


Prosecutors rested their case at R. Kelly’s federal trial in Chicago on Tuesday (Aug. 30) after two weeks of testimony, including testimony from four Kelly accusers, in their bid to prove the singer enticed underage girls for sex, produced child pornography, and successfully rigged his 2008 state trial.


One of the final prosecution witnesses was a 42-year-old woman who went by the alias “Nia.” She was the fourth and final accuser to testify at Kelly’s hometown trial, taking the stand Tuesday morning. A fifth accuser, who prosecutors said would testify during opening statements, never did. They didn’t say why.

Jane’s testimony is critical to the charge that Kelly rigged his 2008 child pornography trial, which he won. Kelly and his associates threatened and paid her and her parents to lie to a grand jury prior to the trial, she testified.


Kelly’s and two co-defendants’ legal teams now have the opportunity to attack the government’s case. Judge Harry Leinenweber informed jurors that they would have Wednesday off before returning to hear the first defence witnesses on Thursday. Closing arguments are scheduled for the middle of next week.

Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison by a federal judge in New York in June for racketeering and sex trafficking convictions.


Kelly testified that she gave Nia, an aspiring actress and model, his phone number after the then-15-year-old asked for an autograph at an Atlanta mall in 1996. Kelly, she claims, was aware of her age when he invited her to a concert in Minnesota, purchased her plane ticket, and sent a limousine with an all-red interior to pick her up.

Nia stopped on the way to the airport to buy a red rose for Kelly, which she placed in her hotel room. When Kelly entered her room, he kissed her before telling her to undress and sit beside him on the bed. She expressed her discomfort but did as he instructed. He quickly left after touching her and himself, she said.

“I never got to give him the rose,” Nia told the jury.

Nia spoke calmly and clearly as Kelly sat 25 feet (7.6 metres) in front of her, wearing a dark blue suit and a black face mask and staring at her. Earlier in the trial, when Jane testified, he frequently kept his eyes down.

Nia claimed that for weeks after meeting Kelly, he promptly returned all of her phone calls. But he never responded to them for long. She was hurt when she saw him years later at a video shoot and he didn’t seem to recognise or acknowledge her.

In the early 2000s, she filed a sexual abuse lawsuit against Kelly. Kelly quickly reached an agreement and paid her $500,000.

Kelly’s state trial in 2008 was centred on a video that prosecutors claimed showed him sexually abusing Jane. She did not testify in that trial, but she did tell jurors in the current one that she was the child in the video and Kelly was the adult man. Jurors in the ongoing trial saw excerpts from that video as well as two others.

Kelly sold millions of albums even after allegations of sexual abuse surfaced in the 1990s. The #MeToo reckoning and the 2019 docuseries Surviving R. Kelly sparked widespread outrage.

Derrel McDavid and Milton Brown, Kelly associates, are co-defendants in the Chicago trial. McDavid, a longtime Kelly business manager, is charged with assisting Kelly in rigging the 2008 trial. Brown has been accused of receiving child pornography. They, like Kelly, have denied any wrongdoing.

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