The absence of testimony from the alleged victim was a 'big handicap' for the jury at the time.
He’s sung some of the most touching and inspirational songs, just as he’s done romantic songs and quite explicit sexual songs.
But behind the scenes, R. Kelly was long suspected to be having sexual relations with underage females, yet he was able to avoid a court date.
That was until 2008 when, following a series of motions by his lawyers that delayed his case going to trial for six years, R. Kelly was dragged to court in Chicago.
The R&B star faced charges of child pornography having been accused of making a 27-minute sex tape with a 14-year-old.
According to the prosecution in their opening statement, the focus of the case was clear-cut; he was introduced to the minor by her aunt and a protege of him, Stephanie Edwards, with the intention of making her a star.
However, R. Kelly was accused of using her instead to fulfill his sexual fantasies which he was said to have filmed.
A VHS tape (this is 2008 we’re talking about) was obtained with ‘evidence’ and, though, not the original and of unknown origin, it had not been ‘tampered with.’
The tape showed a man having sexual relations with a minor and urinating on her, identified by 14 witnesses in the case as the girl R. Kelly was accused of sleeping with.
Only a few of those witnesses identified the man in the tape as R. Kelly, but only one of them, Lisa Van Allen, tied him and the minor to a sexual relationship.
Van Allen had been handed state and federal immunity before testifying that she had had a threesome with the star and the minor.
R. Kelly meanwhile had apparently been identified by the other witnesses who did only by a mold on the back of the man in the tape which was similar to one on R. Kelly’s back.
Van Allen on her part went on to testify that she first slept with Kellz when she was 17 – underage sex – soon after being introduced to him on set of a music video.
But Van Allen’s testimony could not hold weight as she wasn’t the best of witnesses for the prosecution – she admitted to stealing a $20,000 Rolex from R. Kelly.
Also, her then-boyfriend and ex-boyfriend were felons and R. Kelly’s lawyers – Edward Genson, Sam Adam and his son, Sam Adam Jr. – were able to use this and more against her.
R. Kelly’s defense team, without denying that the man in the tape was their star client or that its content was recorded in his residence – went on to tell the court that those accusing their client were only doing so for the sake of a payoff, for revenge or both.
‘This whole thing, from beginning to end, is about money,’ Adam had said.
Thus, rather than categorically deny it was R. Kelly in the tape, his lawyers suggested that the tape was likely fake and that the people in it were models or prostitutes who looked like R. Kelly and the minor he was being accused of abusing.
Eventually, for a case that took six years to get to court, it took just a few hours to get thrown out as the jury declared R. Kelly not guilty on all 14 counts he faced.
R. Kelly, now 50, had repeatedly whispered ‘Thank you Jesus’ according to his lawyers after the not guilty verdict was read.
R. Kelly never testified in the case.
Multiple civil lawsuits have been filed against Kelly and settled out of court, and according to one lawyer who spoke with BuzzFeed, she has negotiated numerous settlements with Kelly before lawsuits were even filed.
Earlier on Monday, July 17, 2017, the music star expressed his ‘alarm’ at accusations that he is holding young women in an ‘abusive cult’.
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