Friday, June 13, 2008
The verdict came six years after the R&B superstar was first charged with videotaping himself having sex with a young girl. Prosecutors had said she was as young as 13 at the time.
The Grammy award-winning singer dabbed his face with a handkerchief and hugged each of his four attorneys after the verdict was read. The singer had faced 15 years in prison if convicted.
Minutes later, surrounded by bodyguards, he left the courthouse without comment. Dozens of fans screamed and cheered as he climbed into a waiting SUV.
Both Kelly and the now 23-year-old alleged victim had denied they were the ones appearing on the tape, which was played for the jury at the beginning and end of the trial.
The prosecution's star witness was a woman who said she engaged in three-way sex with Kelly and the girl from the video. Defense attorneys argued the man on the tape didn't have a large mole on his back, as Kelly does.
The jury of nine men and three women included the wife of a Baptist preacher from Kelly's Chicago-area hometown, as well as a compliance officer for a Chicago investment firm and a man in his 60s who emigrated from then-Communist Romania nearly 40 years ago. Eight jurors were white and four were black
Jurors took the sex tape at the center of the trial with them, and a monitor was set up in the jury room in case they wanted to review it.
Kelly was charged with 14 counts of videotaping himself having sex with an underage girl, who prosecutors say was as young as 13.
The 41-year-old superstar's trial was repeatedly delayed, once because the judge seriously injured himself falling off a ladder and another time because Kelly had emergency surgery to remove his appendix.
Despite his legal troubles, Kelly -- who rose from poverty on Chicago's South Side to become a star singer, songwriter and producer -- still retains a huge following, and his popularity has arguably grown in recent years.
The singer has released more than half a dozen albums, most of them selling over a million copies. He's also had a multitude of hits and gone on tours. Kelly has a new song, "Hair Braider," out now, and is due to release a new album in July.
Kelly, always meticulously dressed in a suit and tie, appeared tense at times during the trial, furrowing his brow. He seemed particularly ill at ease when prosecutors played the sex tape in open court after opening arguments.
In the video, entered into evidence as "People's Exhibit No. 1," a man has sex with a young female, who is naked for most of the recording. She is often blank-faced. The man speaks to her in a hushed voice, and she calls him "Daddy."
In one scene, alluded to in one count of the indictment, the man urinates on the female.
The issue of whether there was or wasn't a fingernail-sized mole on the man's lower was a subject of hours of testimony. A defense witness told jurors there was no mole on his back, proving it's not Kelly, who has such a mole. But a prosecution witness displayed freeze frames of the video where a dark spot seemed to appear as the man turns to take off his pants.
One surreal moment came when a defense expert played a segment of the tape he doctored showing two headless bodies engaging in sex. The defense said that backed their argument that Kelly's likeness could have been computer-generated.
Cross examination was often heated. Several witnesses cried on the stand.
The star prosecution witness, Lisa Van Allen, became teary eyed as she told jurors she engaged in several three-way sexual encounters with Kelly and the alleged victim, including once on a basketball court. Kelly videotaped the trysts, she said.
Van Allen also claimed Kelly used to carry a duffel bag stuffed full of his homemade sex tapes.
The defense called several witnesses in a bid to discredit Van Allen, accusing her of trying to extort money from Kelly. Under cross-examination, Van Allen admitted she once stole Kelly's $20,000 diamond-studded watch from a hotel.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Quincy Harris Live Fox 29 7:00am - 10:am
*WILLOW SMITH* PERFORMING AT "DICK CLARK NEW YEARS *WILLOW SMITH* PERFORMING AT "DICK CLARK NEW YEARS Willow Willow Smith Best...
These are text messages i exchange with my 17 year old cousin bennett. he is a white boy that thinks he's a crip, works at amoco, has a ...