Prosecutors on the R. Kelly intercourse trafficking trial ended their case Monday after calling dozens of witnesses over the previous month who detailed the federal government’s sweeping allegations towards the singer in lurid element.

The defense started its case later in the day by beginning to name Kelly loyalists to the witness stand in an effort to forged doubt on among the accusers’ accounts.

A New York City jury has heard a number of girls and two males who have been in Kelly’s superstar orbit inform the panel that he groomed them for undesirable intercourse and psychologically tormented them — principally after they have been youngsters — in episodes relationship to the Nineties. Their accounts have been backed no less than in half by former Kelly staff whose personal testimony urged they have been primarily paid off to look the opposite approach or actively allow the recording artist.

Kelly’s legal professionals should discover methods to counter testimony from accusers alleging perverse misconduct spanning three many years. Among the troubling tableaus: his entourage locking a radio station intern in a room the place he sexually assaulted her whereas she was handed out; witnesses claiming that he gave them herpes with out disclosing he had an STD; and Kelly capturing a shaming video of 1 alleged sufferer displaying her smearing feces on her face as punishment for breaking arbitrary guidelines meant to shield his fragile ego.

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On Monday, Larry Hood, a childhood pal who labored safety for Kelly as an off-duty Chicago police officer in the early 2000s, claimed he by no means witnessed Kelly misbehaving with underage ladies. A defense lawyer additionally requested if he noticed his pal lock anybody in a room.

In this courtroom artist's sketch made from a video screen monitor of a Brooklyn courtroom, defendant R. Kelly, left, listens during the opening day of his trial, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021 in New York. The prosecutor described sex abuse claims against Kelly, saying the long-anticipated trial now underway was ‘about a predator’ who used his fame to entice girls, boys and young women before dominating and controlling them physically, sexually and psychologically. 

In this courtroom artist’s sketch constituted of a video display screen monitor of a Brooklyn courtroom, defendant R. Kelly, left, listens in the course of the opening day of his trial, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021 in New York. The prosecutor described intercourse abuse claims towards Kelly, saying the long-anticipated trial now underway was ‘about a predator’ who used his fame to entice ladies, boys and younger girls earlier than dominating and controlling them bodily, sexually and psychologically. 
(Elizabeth Williams)

“No, sir,” Hood responded. If he noticed that, he added, “As a police officer, I would have had to take action against that.”

On cross-examination, Hood admitted the police division fired him in 2007 after a responsible plea in a counterfeit cash case, although he acquired to preserve his pension.

A big chunk of the testimony targeted on an notorious scandal involving his youngest and most well-known alleged sufferer: R&B phenom Aaliyah. One of the ultimate witnesses described seeing Kelly sexually abusing Aaliyah round 1993, when Aaliyah was solely 13 or 14. The former backup performer additionally informed the jury Kelly sexually abused her as nicely when she was 15 — one other in a collection of accusers who say he exploited them after they have been underage.

Jurors had beforehand heard proof about a fraud marriage scheme hatched to shield Kelly after he feared he had impregnated Aaliyah. A wedding license that was put into proof falsely listed her age as 18; he was 27 on the time.

Aaliyah, whose full title was Aaliyah Dana Haughton, labored with Kelly, who wrote and produced her 1994 debut album, “Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number.” She died in a aircraft crash in 2001 at age 22.

Kelly, whose song ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ topped charts, has vehemently denied the charges, claiming that the women were groupies who wanted to take advantage of his fame and fortune until the #MeToo movement turned them against him.

Kelly, whose tune ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ topped charts, has vehemently denied the costs, claiming that the ladies have been groupies who needed to make the most of his fame and fortune till the #MeToo motion turned them towards him.
(Frank Micelotta/Invision)

The final authorities witness was an skilled witness on abusive relationships. Dawn Hughes testified about research displaying that many abusers systematically isolate, demean, subjugate and spy on their victims as technique of management — all ways allegedly utilized by Kelly. Generally talking, it isn’t uncommon for highly effective individuals like Kelly to be surrounded by underlings who “knew about it and didn’t do anything,” Hughes stated.

The 54-year-old defendant, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, has pleaded not responsible to racketeering fees accusing him of working a Chicago-based enterprise of managers, bodyguards and different staff who helped him recruit and transport his victims. That alleged journey violated the Mann Act, which makes it unlawful to transport anybody throughout state strains “for any immoral purpose” — the identical legislation that despatched rock legend Chuck Berry to jail in 1959.

Kelly, whose tune “I Believe I Can Fly” topped charts, has vehemently denied the costs, claiming that the ladies have been groupies who needed to make the most of his fame and fortune till the #MeToo motion turned them towards him.

Oddly, members of the press and public haven’t truly seen the jailed Kelly in individual for the reason that trial started on Aug. 18. U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly has barred individuals circuitously concerned in the case from the courtroom in what she known as a coronavirus precaution.

Observers are restricted to an overflow courtroom, leaving them to attempt to observe the case by a video feed.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.