R. Kelly– Juror Excused From Child Sex Abuse Trial After Having Panic Attack During Closing Arguments
One of the jurors in the R. Kellytrial in Chicago suffered a panic attack during a break in proceedings and has now been replaced.
The incident occurred on Monday (Sept. 12) when the juror, a white female, started having a panic attack after the prosecution and defense gave their closing argument. The judge says he was told the juror “couldn’t last another minute” and he excused her around 3:30 p.m. local time. U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber then replaced Juror 44 with Juror 83, a white man.
As previously reported, R.Kelly, 55, (born Robert Sylvester Kelly) was sentenced to 30 years in prison on June 29 in New York for his sex trafficking & racketeering crimes. He was also ordered to pay a $100,000 fine. He is currently on trial in Chicago in a separate case accusing him of videotaping himself having sex with multiple children, luring children for sex, and rigging his 2008 pornography trial.
The disgraced singer is being tried alongside his former business manager, Derrel McDavid, and an associate, Milton “June” Brown, who are both accused of conspiring with him to intimidate and bribe witnesses and to cover up evidence in a 2008 criminal trial on child pornography charges in Cook County.
Of the three men, only McDavid testified during the trial. In closing arguments, McDavid’s defense attorney, Beau Brindley, attacked the credibility of two government witnesses who testified that he conspired with R. Kelly. Brindley said,
“The only two people who said he did anything wrong are two people who plainly lied.. The evidence fits together to expose a lie.”
Brown’s attorney said he was “nothing more than an assistant” to the singer and that he was unaware of any wrongdoing and as a result, could not have been involved in covering it up.
Prosecutors main goal during the month long trial has been to prove that R. Kelly and his associates conspired to keep video recordings of him allegedly sexually abusing a minor from coming to light. Prosecutors showed jurors parts of the videos.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Pozolo said, Kelly, McDavid and Brown did their best
“to cover up the fact that R. Kelly, the R&B superstar, is actually a sexual predator.”
“Robert Kelly abused many girls over many years. He committed horrible crimes against children. And he didn’t do it alone.. McDavid and Brown worked to get those tapes back because they would be completely damning.”
R. Kelly was acquitted in 2008 in a case that revolved around one of the sex tapes after the girl who allegedly appeared in the recording refused to testify at the trial. Jurors at the time said that made it difficult for them to convict the Chicago native.
The woman, who is now 37 and was identified by the pseudonym Jane in court has been a pivotal witness for the prosecution. As previously reported, Jane testified that she had sex with the ‘Ignition’ singer “hundreds” of times from age 15 to 18. She said within weeks of meeting each other, R. Kelly would begin to call her and say sexual things. She said he first touched her breasts and other parts of her body when she was around 14-years-old and he “started penetration” at his North Side Chicago home when she was only 15. Kelly would have been around 30 years old at the time.
R. Kelly’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, previously told jurors that they will have to decide whether they believe the accusers and the witnesses to be credible, noting that that Jane had previously denied that she was the person in the sex tape with R. Kelly.
Closing arguments will continue Tuesday (Sept. 13). Depending on how long it takes the jury to reach a verdict, R. Kelly is expected to learn his fate soon.
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