R. Kelly trial: Jurors finished for the day after deliberating for about four hours
The jury deliberated about four hours in the afternoon before the case was adjourned to Monday. Before leaving for the day, they sent a note saying, âWe jurors have not returned a verdict.
Previously, the jury had asked for evidence regarding witness “Sonja”, requested a floor plan of the Chicago recording studio used by Kelly in the early 2000s, and a letter that witness Jane allegedly wrote to her brother under Kelly’s direction.
Kelly’s attorney, Deveraux Cannick, said they were not concerned about the evidence the jury asked for, saying “they just asked for evidence.”
Cannick also said he had spoken with Kelly several minutes earlier and “was confident in the way the evidence came out.”
The seven men and five women on the jury sat for 23 days of the trial, which began on August 18 and included 50 witnesses in total. They began to deliberate on Friday afternoon.
In closing arguments, Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Geddes told jurors that Kelly runs a company that promotes her music and brand, but also serves to recruit people for Kelly to ” targeting, treating and exploiting girls, boys and women â.
“Over the past few weeks you have learned that the accused’s inner circle was working together to promote the accused’s music and brand, but his inner circle also served as a catalyst for his criminal conduct,” Geddes said. .
Kelly was tried in New York on one count of racketeering, with 14 underlying acts that included charges of child sexual exploitation, kidnapping, bribery and sex trafficking. He is also charged with eight additional counts of violations of Mann’s Law, a sex trafficking law.
In defense argument, Cannick said the government misled jurors and allowed witnesses to lie, saying that many witnesses accusing Kelly of sexual and physical abuse have consensual relationships with the singer and are now testifying against him to take advantage of his fame.
âA lot of people watched ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ and unfortunately a lot of people are surviving now because of R. Kelly,â Cannick said.
Prosecutors laid out their case, testimony and evidence for more than six hours during their closing arguments.
âNow is the time for the accused, Robert Kelly, to pay for his crimes. Convict him,â Geddes said.
The case comes 13 years after Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, was acquitted of child pornography charges during a trial in the state of Illinois.
Kelly faces more charges
Kelly still has legal battles after this trial. In the Northern District of Illinois, he faces other federal charges, including charges of child pornography and obstruction. He also faces criminal charges in Minnesota, two counts of prostitution with a minor, and charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in the state of Illinois.
He has pleaded not guilty to all charges and denies any wrongdoing.
The 13-count indictment released in July 2019 in the Northern District of Illinois accused Kelly of filming herself having sex with at least four girls under the age of 18 in from 1998. A few years later, after Kelly learned that some of these videos were missing from his “collection”, he and others began paying several “hundreds of thousands of dollars” to collect them, according to the indictment.
Also in 2019, a grand jury in Cook County, Illinois indicted Kelly with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four alleged victims, three of whom were under the age of 17.
This indictment was followed months later by another by a Cook County grand jury on 11 counts, ranging from aggravated criminal sexual assault and criminal sexual assault to abuse. aggravated criminal sexuality.
In August 2019, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office in Minnesota announced that Kelly had been charged with two counts of prostitution with a person under the age of 18. According to the criminal complaint, a woman said the incident happened in 2001, when she was 17 years old.
CNN’s Taylor Romine contributed to this article.