Defense in the trial of R. Kelly

In this courtroom sketch, R. Kelly briefly addresses Judge Ann Donnelly during his sentencing in federal court, June 29, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Elizabeth Williams, File)

L.A, 2022-09-09 16:49:10. Defense in the trial of R. Kelly


Chicago –

Rested defense of R. Kelly and two other defendants on Friday in the R&B singer’s trial on charges of trial tampering, child pornography and inciting minors to have sex.

They ended their case after the main defense witness, defendant Kelly and former business manager Deryl McDavid, finished three days of testimony.

Prosecutors get a chance to call cassation witnesses, and then both sides present closing arguments. Jury deliberations are not likely to begin until next week.

Kelly and MacDavid are accused of reforming Kelly’s 2008 state child pornography trial by threatening witnesses and concealing video evidence. Kelly was acquitted in 2008. He and MacDavid also face child pornography charges in federal trial in Chicago. A third defendant, colleague Kelly Milton Brown, is accused of receiving child pornography.

MacDavid was the only one of the three defendants who testified on his behalf.

Kelly, 55, was already sentenced to 30 years in prison in June after a separate federal trial in New York.

Known for his hit “I Believe I Can Fly” and sexist hits like “Bump n’ Grind,” Kelly has sold millions of albums even after allegations of sexual misconduct spread in the 1990s. Widespread outrage emerged after the .MeToo account and 2019 documentary series “Surviving R. Kelly.”

At times while testifying this week, McDodd appeared to be a proof witness. He said he believed that Kelly’s denials of sexual abuse of minors in the 2000s changed his mind during the current trial.

During cross-examination of witnesses, Attorney General Janis Abinging sought to show that MacDavid was too close to Kelly to be completely ignorant of any of Kelly’s misconduct.

McDavid agreed that his job included protecting Kelly’s reputation and assets. Citing financial records, the attorney general said Kelly paid him about $1 million annually starting in 2006. McDavid has denied that he took steps to fend off sexual misconduct lawsuits against Kelly in the first place to protect his boss and his lucrative income from Kelly.

In a surprising twist at the end of Thursday, MacDavid expressed doubts about Kelly’s insistence in the 2000s that he did not sexually abuse minors.

Asked by his attorney, Bo Brindley, whether he was in a “different position” to assess the allegations against Kelly after he complied with government testimony by four of Kelly’s accusers, MacDavid replied: “Yes, I am.”

“The past (few) weeks have learned a lot that I had no idea about in 2008,” he added.

MacDavid, who previously testified that he once saw Kelly as a son, was also asked if he wanted to believe Kelly in the 2000s, including until the end of Kelly’s trial in 2008.

He replied, “I definitely did it because I loved him and believed in him.”

McDavid’s testimony could lend credence to the charges Kelly faces alone — five counts of soliciting underage girls for sex, one for every five accused. However, it is also in McDavid’s best interest that he say he believes Kelly is heading to trial in 2008 because it undermines the government’s case that McDavid knew Kelly was guilty and believed the singer would be convicted if the evidence was not suppressed.

Judge Harry Lenenweber has repeatedly refused requests from Kelly’s defense team to try him alone because his interests and those of MacDavid would conflict in a joint trial.

MacDavid testified that he and Kelly separated after a 2008 trial amid financial disputes and that he quit working for Kelly in 2014.

The ongoing trial in Kelly’s hometown is, in some ways, a bypass of the 2008 trial. One video, which prosecutors said, showed Kelly sexually assaulting a girl of about 14, was at the center of that trial. The same video is evidence in the current trial.

The girl in the video, who was then an adult, did not testify at the 2008 trial, which jurors cited as a reason they could not convict her. She testified at the current trial under the pseudonym “Jane,” saying that she was the person featured in this video and that Kelly made the taping. She also said that Kelly has sexually abused her hundreds of times since she was 14.

MacDavid testified on Wednesday that he saw the then-teenager loitering around Kelly’s studio in the late 1990s. He said Kelly angrily denied rumors of sexually assaulting Jane, whom Kelly described as his daughter.

“I believed him,” McDavid said.

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