R. Kelly jury watches graphic video clips allegedly showing singer having sex with young teen

R. Kelly jury watches graphic video clips allegedly showing singer having sex with young teen

Published August 20, 2022
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While the visuals were obscured from view, courthouse observers could hear much of the audio. A woman testifying under the pseudonym “Jane” identified herself in court Thursday as the girl in the tapes and Kelly as the man, testifying that she was 14 years old when they were filmed.

On the clips, Jane was heard speaking in a high and very young-sounding voice. On one clip, she referred to her “14-year-old” genitals repeatedly. On another she repeated the phrase, as did the man alleged to be Kelly.

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

But Leinenweber declined, saying that forcing everyone to leave a public trial was too extreme and that having people hear the audio wasn’t “problematic.” Instead, he had courtroom personnel bring in large, black screens so spectators could not see the jurors or their monitors as they watched. Due to COVID-19 spacing protocols, the jury is seated in the courtroom gallery rather than in the jury box.