Alleged child sex tape victim testifies R. Kelly had sex with her ‘hundreds’ of times before she turned 18

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CHICAGO — The teenage girl whose alleged sexual relationship with singer R. Kelly led to child pornography against the singer in 2008 testified Thursday that the singer started having sex with her when she was 15 and he was in his 30s and continued to do so “hundreds” of times before she turned 18.

The girl, now 37 and identified in court under the pseudonym Jane, is the prosecution’s key witness in Kelly’s federal trial for child pornography and obstruction of justice.

Kelly, whose legal name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, is on trial alongside his former business manager, Derrel McDavid, and associate, Milton “June” Brown. They are both charged with conspiring with Kelly to intimidate and bribe witnesses and cover up evidence during his 2008 criminal trial in Cook County, where a videotape was made of him allegedly sexually assaulting a minor.

On Thursday, Jane testified that she was the person who appeared in that video with Kelly. She did not testify at the 2008 trial and her parents repeatedly denied that she was the girl on the recording at the time. Kelly was acquitted. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Jane testified on Thursday that she’d had “hundreds” of sex with the disgraced singer from ages 15 to 18. Under prosecutors’ interrogation, she said she did this because she was intimidated by him and considered him an “authoritative figure.”

Jane also testified that she first met Kelly when she was 12 or 13 years old at a church gospel concert.

“He was a superstar,” she said. “I was excited to meet him. I knew who he was as an artist and I aspire to be in the music industry.”

The second time she met him, Jane testified, was through an introduction from her aunt after an event where Jane’s music group had performed. Her aunt, Stephanie “Sparkle” Edwards, a singer who recorded a song with Kelly in 1998, was in a romantic relationship with him at the time, Jane said.

“After my show, he told me how great I had done and gave me tips on how to operate the stage,” Jane testified. “It was great to hear from such a successful person that I was gifted.”

Shortly after, she said, she started seeing him more in his home studio with Edwards, who told her to ask him to be her godfather if she wanted her music career to progress.

Edwards, Jane testified, told her to “sit on his lap, rub his head, and ask him if he wants to play that part for me and my life.”

Jane, who was 14 at the time, said the relationship turned sexual within weeks of that day, starting with phone sex and moving on to oral sex. She testified that she was 15 when they had sexual intercourse for the first time.

Because he was her godfather, she said, her parents didn’t ask him any questions and felt comfortable with her staying at his home and spending time in the studio because they thought they were making music together.

“When he became my godfather, it was normal for me to be with him without my aunt there,” Jane said.

At Kelly’s request, she also recruited friends from school to join in for sex.

“I considered myself a submissive person and I wanted to give him what he wanted,” she said.

Jane said Kelly told her to keep the relationship a secret and to remain “loyal” to him.

She admitted to lying to a grand jury and to the police about the relationship in order to protect Kelly and keep it from her parents.

“I was going to take that to my grave,” she said.

When her parents discovered the relationship when the video was released, Jane said, her father erupted in anger at Kelly. But they eventually agreed to Kelly’s plan to deny Jane was in the video because they were afraid of losing her, she said.

Jane said she decided to come forward a few years ago because she was “tired of living with his lies.”

Jane took the stand on the second day of testimony at the trial, which began jury selection Monday.

Prosecutor Jason Julien said on Wednesday that Kelly had sex with minors numerous times, recorded many of the alleged attacks on VHS tapes, and then paid people who knew about the recordings to keep quiet when he was criminally charged with child pornography in 2008.

Julien said Kelly had a “dark side” and kept a “hidden world” behind his fame and status.

Kelly’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, told jurors during opening statements on Wednesday that they will have to decide whether they find the prosecutors and witnesses credible, pointing out that Jane had previously denied she was the person in the video with Kelly.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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