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R. Kelly jury watches graphic video clips allegedly showing singer having s-x with young teen

CHICAGO — An attorney for R. Kelly suggested that a woman who was 14 when the R&B artist allegedly sexually assaulted and urinated on her in a graphic videotape was benefitting greatly from finally coming forward to testify.

During Kelly’s second federal trial on Friday morning, his attorney Jennifer Bonjean attacked the idea that the woman, who is now 37 years old and testifying under the pseudonym Jane, was cooperating with prosecutors because, as she previously told the court, she “became exhausted with living with his lies.” Instead, Bonjean accused Jane of trying to get money from Kelly before she decided to come forward and pointed out that the government has provided rental assistance, immunity from prosecution, and travel expenses to Florida as part of her agreement to participate in the proceedings. If Kelly is convicted, Jane would also be entitled to restitution, Bonjean noted.

“Get on your knees,” Jane is told in another clip. “Daddy, do you still love me?” she responded.

“Of course I do,” was the answer.

Jane could be heard getting directions at several points on what she should do.

“I said don’t move,” the man alleged to be Kelly said on one clip.

“I’m sorry,” Jane responds.

“You wanted to work out a situation where he would pay you,” Bonjean said while asking Jane questions during cross-examination.

“That is not correct,” Jane responded.

Kelly’s defense so far has not directly contested whether it is Kelly on the video clips, saying that their authenticity could not be verified and that Kelly was previously acquitted for conduct related to them. Nor have they given jurors an alternate version of Jane’s narrative of events related to videos, seeing to sow doubt instead by telling the panel Jane denied it was her on the clips for more than two decades.

Prosecutors had asked U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber to clear the courtroom of media and spectators while the tapes were played since they contained alleged child pornography.

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Jane’s testimony is key to federal prosecutors’ case and was highly anticipated after she did not testify in the 2008 trial and denied for years that she was the person in the tape or had a sexual relationship with Kelly. On Thursday, she confirmed that she lied to law enforcement and the Cook County grand jury when they charged him with producing the infamous tape in 2002. She also described how she was groomed for sexual abuse shortly after asking the R&B singer to be her godfather and being directed by him to lie about their relationship.

While cross-examining Jane on Friday, Bonjean presented her with a series of text messages between her and Kelly from late 2018 and early 2019 — around the time when the docuseries Surviving R. Kelly, which detailed the allegations of women who said Kelly had abused them, aired on TV.

When a prosecutor asked why he gave her money, Jane started to cry audibly, saying after a long pause: “Because if anybody saw the tape or if it was released for some reason, he wanted it to appear as if I was a prostitute.”

As she said it, Jane looked sadly down at the table in front of her. Seated at the defense table across the courtroom, Kelly shook his head.

Kelly, 55, is charged with 13 counts of production of child pornography, conspiracy to produce child pornography and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Some of the counts carry a mandatory minimum of 10 years behind bars if convicted, while others have ranges of five to 20 years in prison. Prosecutors are also seeking a personal money forfeiture of $1.5 million from Kelly.

Also on trial are Kelly’s former business manager, Derrel McDavid, and another associate, Milton “June” Brown, who, according to the indictment, schemed to buy back incriminating sex tapes that had been taken from Kelly’s collection and hide years of alleged sexual abuse of underage girls.

Regardless of the outcome, Kelly is still facing decades in prison. In June, he was sentenced to 30 years on federal racketeering charges brought in New York. He is appealing both the jury’s verdict and the sentence in that case.

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