Chicago, IL — Closing arguments for the R. Kelly federal little one pornography and obstruction trial started on Monday at Dirksen U.S. Courthouse with the prosecution detailing all 13 counts towards the singer and delivering a timeline outlining their case. Prosecutors allege Kelly sexually abused minors, and alongside along with his two co-defendants, labored to cowl it up by 20 years that included the 2008 trial for which he was acquitted.
Assistant U.S Attorney Elizabeth Pozolo detailed graphic scenes by which Jane, the 14-year-old girl who Kelly is allegedly depicted molesting in video clips proven to the jury earlier within the trial. “Who does this?” she requested. “Who covers it up?” She gestured to Kelly, and his co-defendants — former enterprise supervisor Derrel McDavid and former worker Milton “June” Brown.
Using his place of energy, she stated Kelly “took benefit of Jane’s youth.”
“They did their stage finest” to maintain Jane and different victims’ abuse beneath wraps, Pozolo added of the defendants. She referred to as Kelly a “sexual predator,” however whereas the three conspired and “did their finest, ultimately, they failed.”
Kelly is facing multiple charges of coercing 5 minors into intercourse acts, and several other expenses associated to producing little one pornography. His co-defendant McDavid is charged on one rely of conspiracy to obtain little one pornography, two counts of receiving little one pornography, and one rely of conspiracy to hinder justice. (The latter cost was associated to Kelly’s 2008 little one pornography trial that centered on a Jane Doe, with the videotape a spotlight of the present trial.) Kelly’s former worker Brown is additionally charged with receiving little one pornography as a part of an alleged effort to get well lacking tapes that allegedly present Kelly engaged in intercourse acts with minors. All three males have pleaded not responsible.
On Monday, Pozolo walked the jury by the proof introduced over the last 4 weeks, starting with the tapes Kelly recorded of him allegedly sexually abusing Jane. About 18 minutes of clips have been performed for the jury and heard within the courtroom in the course of the trial from three tapes that diversified in size from 21 minutes to greater than 26 minutes.
She additionally labored to tie McDavid and Brown to the alleged cover-up. She reminded the jurors of witness testimony — from Charles Freeman, Lisa Van Allen and others — exhibiting McDavid and Brown weren’t solely allegedly conscious of the tapes however actively labored to cowl up their existence. This included huge payoffs allegedly accredited by McDavid and Brown allegedly assisted in retrieving the money. Brown additionally seemed to be in Mexico and the Bahamas when Jane and her household have been despatched away to these areas whereas the investigation to the 2008 trial was underway.
Pozolo detailed witness testimony tying each males to their involvement in key conferences and actions tied to the conspiracy and obstruction counts. Pozolo additionally detailed three different victims’ accounts who testified in the course of the trial — “Nia,” “Tracy” and “Pauline” — who accused Kelly of sexually abusing them once they have been underage. Pozolo additionally mentioned a fourth alleged survivor “Brittany” who didn’t testify, however each Jane and Pauline stated they have been concerned in threesomes together with her and Kelly when the ladies have been all underage.
McDavid’s boisterous lawyer Beau Brindley disputed the claims throughout his closing arguments from witnesses whom he deemed liars — notably Freeman, whom he referred to as a “talentless, tactless T-shirt man” and Van Allen — whose testimony within the present trial and former sworn testimony has been inconsistent, whereas additionally branding them as opportunists trying to extort Kelly. Moreover, he stated McDavid isn’t responsible of any of the counts he’s named in as a result of he had no data that the tapes contained Kelly allegedly engaged in illicit acts with minors. (McDavid testified that he by no means watched any of the tapes and was solely appearing as his skilled authorized crew suggested him.)
Brindley additionally reiterated the stance made in the course of the trial that one of many movies named within the indictment — Video 4 — didn’t depict Van Allen, Jane and Kelly as prosecutors, Jane and Van Allen have claimed, however as an alternative included Van Allen, Kelly and Kelly’s spouse — all authorized adults on the time. That assertion has additionally been adopted beforehand by Kelly’s authorized crew. All of this to say, in accordance with Brindley, that there’s greater than sufficient affordable doubt to not convict his shopper.
Following recess, U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber introduced that one juror, a white lady employed at a public library, had suffered a panic assault. She reported that she “doesn’t assume she will go one minute extra.” After nobody objected to the decide’s proposal that they dismiss her, she was changed by an alternate juror, a white man who seemed to be in his 60s. “I’ve by no means pushed anybody to a panic assault,” Brindley joked. “Not a juror anyway.”
Mary Judge, Brown’s lead lawyer adopted that announcement, promised that she wouldn’t yell as a lot as Brindley as she delivered her arguments. Kelly’s former assistant, who’s accused of 1 rely of conspiracy to obtain little one pornography, has not been a serious determine mentioned over the last 4 weeks of trial, however throughout Pozolo’s closing arguments, she stated, “Brown was not some harmless bystander who robotically made resort reservations and drove folks to the airport. Brown knew full properly what was occurring.”
Judge addressed jurors who could also be questioning why Brown was named in any respect within the indictment: “You’re not alone,” she stated, including that there was “no proof” and that prosecutors had “failed miserably” at implicating her shopper, whom she painted as a low-level worker simply doing his job. “The authorities is cherry-picking” info from the previous 20 years, she stated. “They are attempting to create a fictional bond that didn’t exist,” Judge stated. She added: “None of that proves he knew” in regards to the tapes and that the prosecution had introduced “zero proof” towards her shopper.
On Tuesday, the trial resumes with Kelly’s lead lawyer Jennifer Bonjean anticipated to ship closing arguments and a rebuttal from the federal government earlier than jury directions and deliberations start.