Chicago, Illinois- R.KellyThe alleged underage sexual assault victim, known as Jane and at the center of her federal child pornography trial in Chicago, was heard apologizing to her alleged attacker multiple times in more than one video clip submitted as evidence by the prosecution on Friday. The graphic videotapes were shown to jurors on Friday at Dirksen’s US courthouse, where the tape – containing clips from three different videos – was not seen by the public or the media. Instead, a sound was heard in the courthouse.
Kelly is facing multiple charges of coercing five minors into sexual acts, and several charges related to the production of child pornography. He and his co-defendants Derrel McDavid and Milton Brown are also charged with receiving child pornography in an alleged effort to recover missing tapes that allegedly show Kelly engaging in sexual acts with minors. Additionally, Kelly and McDavid face obstruction of justice charges related to allegations that they paid people who knew about Kelly’s alleged abuse and attempted to obstruct the 2008 pornography investigation. juvenile on Kelly. All three men have pleaded not guilty.
On Thursday, Jane, who was Kelly’s goddaughter, identified herself as the person on the tapes shown on Friday, and said she was 14 when they were filmed. On Friday, Jane’s youthful voice could be heard on tapes referring to her “14-year-old” body, including her breasts and other genitalia, for several moments while some 17 clips from three separate videotapes were released. been presented in court. Kelly could be heard asserting her age in some clips.
In one clip, Jane is instructed by what appears to be Kelly to turn around and “kneel down”. “Dad, do you still love me?” we hear him ask. In another clip, he is told “don’t move” and that “I’m going to hit you real hard on the ass”. Elsewhere, she is heard saying “I’m sorry” to her alleged sexual abuser repeatedly as the tapes play in the courtroom.
A handful of clips aired on Friday were the subject of Kelly’s 2008 child pornography trial, in which the singer was acquitted (Jane did not testify in the 2008 trial, a major factor in his acquittal, they would later say. the jurors in that trial.) While the clips were playing, Kelly would often converse with his attorney and stare at the table where he was seated.
The reading of the tapes was chaotic on Friday, with Kelly supporters lining up hours earlier to attend court as the trial progressed, as well as prosecutors reiterating their demand that U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber clears the courtroom of the public. and the media on the grounds that the tapes were allegedly child pornography. Leinenweber disagreed and instead blacked out the video screens depicting the videotapes from the public and media perspective in the gallery, as jurors and legal teams were allowed to watch.
Earlier today, cross-examination of Jane, who testified on Thursday, began with Kelly’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, who illustrated via a series of texts allegedly sent from Jane to Kelly that the two allegedly stayed in contact until April 2019. Bonjean also pointed out that his client doesn’t always respond to texts from Jane. In February 2019, shortly after the documentary Surviving R. Kelly aired, Jane reportedly texted Kelly, “You gotta call me right now or I’ll make some decisions on my own.” Bonjean asked if this was a way for Jane to receive payment to keep quiet, which Jane denied. “The decision I was going to make was to cooperate with the authorities because I didn’t want to carry his lies anymore,” she said.
Bonjean also brought up restitution, which Jane would apparently be entitled to if Kelly were convicted, but Jane said she hasn’t decided whether to pursue this. Later, Bonjean suggested that Jane’s lawyer brokered an immunity deal, which covers her for “anything”. Jane calmly declared that despite everything, “I speak my truth.”
Another set of texts Bonjean referred to were those exchanged between Jane and Assistant U.S. Attorney Angel Krull, suggesting they had an overly friendly relationship. During the redirection, prosecutors worked to establish that the text exchanges were about pre-trial planning.
Bonjean also asked Jane about the soundtrack, which journalist Jim DeRogatis then at the Chicago Sun-Times received, which ultimately led to the 2008 lawsuit. Bonjean asked if Jane’s aunt, Stephanie “Sparkle” Edwards, provided the tape. “To my knowledge, yes,” Jane said. Later, Jane acquiesced in Bonjean’s assertion that Edwards initially seemed to favor Kelly and Jane’s relationship when she suggested that Jane ask Kelly to become her godfather when she was 12 or 13 years old. “She knew what she encouraged me to do,” Jane said.
Edwards, however, maintained that she tried to protect her niece, as she claimed in DeRogatis’ book. Soulless: The Case Against R. Kelly.
On Thursday, Jane testified that she was the girl sexually abused in the video that was at the center of Kelly’s 2008 child pornography trial (he was acquitted of all charges), alongside other clips. Wednesday, after the opening statements, retired Chicago detective Daniel Everett testified to this claim, saying he recognized Jane in the notorious tape – which he received from DeRogatis in February 2002 – from an initial investigation into allegations of abuse against Kelly two years prior. In 2000, Jane denied being abused by Kelly, with her parents backing that claim. Prosecutors alleged Kelly and his associates paid Jane and her family to cover up the videotapes.
The four central videos of the retrial – some of which were released for jurors on Friday – were filmed when Jane was 14, by testimony. She said the sex acts took place at Kelly’s home, at her recording studios, on tour buses and in hotels.
On Friday, one of Brown’s lawyers also cross-examined Jane, appearing to try to establish that their client had no knowledge of Kelly’s alleged relationship cover-ups and was instead doing as he was told as a ’employee.
Friday’s testimony also included testimony from Bettye Allwang, director of exploited children at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, who said the video footage implicated in the case was part of a distribution report filed with the agency, and John of Customs and Border Protection Cichy, who discussed travel manifestos involving Jane, her parents and Brown.