Jurors returned to the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse on Wednesday morning to continue deliberations in the trial of R. Kelly.
The 55-year-old is facing 13-counts of child pornography and obstruction of justice in the federal trial. The charges stem from the state trial in Chicago, where he was acquitted in 2008. In 2002, Kelly faced 21 counts of making videos which depicted child sexual abuse. Police and the FBI verified the authenticity of one recording, but a jury in 2008 could not prove that the person in the recording was a minor, and Kelly was set free. His co-defendants, former manager Darrell McDavid and former assistant Milton “June” Brown, are accused of fixing the 2008 state trial by intimidating and paying off witnesses.
In closing arguments, Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Pozolo called Kelly a “sexual predator.” Pozolo also stated McDavid and Brown actively covered up Kelly’s exploits. Polzo also focused on “Jane,” a woman who testified Kelly began sexually abusing her when she was 14. “Jane” stems from the 2008 case. Kelly stands accused of arranging for “Jane” and her parents to travel overseas to prevent them from talking with the police and instructing them to lie to a grand jury about the case. “Jane,” now 37, took the stand at the current trial and testified against Kelly. Four women testified that Kelly assaulted them when they were girls.
The Associated Press reports that in the closing argument for the defense, Kelly’s attorney Jennifer Bonjean insisted the accusers were liars and compared the government’s case to cockroaches in soup. “If a cockroach falls into soup,” Bonjean said before the jury, “you don’t just pull out the cockroach and eat the rest of the soup. You throw out the whole soup. There are just too many cockroaches.”
The jury began deliberating yesterday (Sept. 13) and will continue today.
This is Kelly’s second trial this year. In June, he was sentenced to 30 years in New York after being convicted of racketeering and sex trafficking. He has maintained his innocence in both the New York and Chicago trials.