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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

R. Kelly Trial Has Begun, Opening Statements Have Been Made

posted by on May 20 at 11:31 AM

rkellyarrive.jpg

Via AP:

CHICAGO - A prosecutor in the child pornography trial of R. Kelly warned jurors Tuesday they would have to watch a videotape depicting an “underage child performing sex acts that you have never seen before.”

“A child doesn’t choose to be violated and placed on a videotape, a videotape that will live on forever — long after this child becomes an adult,” Cook County prosecutor Shauna Boliker told jurors as opening statements got under way in the R&B singer’s long-delayed trial.

Kelly, 41, is accused of videotaping himself having sex with an underage girl who prosecutors maintain was as young as 13 when the tape was made between Jan. 1, 1998, and Nov. 1, 2000.

Defense attorneys, however, told jurors in their opening statements that Kelly isn’t the man on the tape. The defense also told jurors that the female that authorities allege is depicted on the tape isn’t that person at all.

That’s a claim that’s also been made by the 23-year-old woman prosecutors say was a minor at the time of the taping. She denies she’s the girl on the video.

The trial has been delayed repeatedly since the tape was mailed to the Chicago Sun-Times in 2002. The newspaper turned it over to authorities, and Kelly was indicted later that year.

The singer, who has pleaded not guilty, faces up to 15 years if convicted.

Full story here.

As Kirbs posted last week, the jury selection for this child pornography case includes the wife of a Baptist pastor, a man who’s already convinced R. Kelly is guilty, a wanna-be cop, and an assistant teacher at a Catholic school.

If I had to guess, I’d say we shouldn’t count on any more installments of Trapped in the Closet anytime soon…

(Photo by Paul Beaty/AP)

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