Jury selection begins in R. Kelly’s federal trial in Chicago

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Jury selection for the federal trial of singer R. Kelly on charges of child pornography and falsifying his trial in 2008 began Monday in Chicago in a trial expected to last up to four weeks.

Prospective judges are questioned about whether they watched the 2019 documentary Surviving R. Kelly about sexual allegations against the R&B star.

R. Kelly’s defense wanted anyone who saw the film to be automatically disbarred from the jury, but U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber denied that request. However, the judge asked potential jurors how much of the documentary they had seen, what they could remember, and whether they thought they could be impartial.

Jury members were asked in a pre-completed questionnaire whether they had seen the documentary.

R. KELLY ACCUSER ‘MINOR 1’ GOES WITNESS IN OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE PROCESS AGAINST ‘I WISH’ SINGER

Prospective jurors are being questioned about whether they watched the 2019 documentary Surviving R. Kelly about sexual allegations against the defendant.
(AP Newsroom, File)

Of the roughly 60 candidate jurors the judge questioned, about half were fired. One of the layoffs was a woman who said she had once taken martial arts classes with R. Kelly’s children.

The jury selection will resume on Tuesday.

The federal trial is seen as a repeat of his 2008 trial when a jury acquitted him of charges that he made a video of having sex with a 14-year-old girl when he was 30. R. Kelly is also charged with threatening and paying off the victim and her parents in that trial in an attempt to dissuade them from testifying. None of them ultimately testified.

Jurors in the 2008 child pornography trial acquitted Kelly, with some later explaining that they felt they had no choice because the girl did not testify.

Jurors in the 2008 child pornography trial acquitted Kelly, with some later explaining that they felt they had no choice because the girl did not testify.
(Chicago Police Station)

R. KELLY TIMELINE: GLOSSY STAR FOR CONDEMNED SEX TRAFFICKER

Double jeopardy, which prohibits prosecution of a defendant for the same crimes from which he was previously acquitted, does not apply in this case because prosecutors allege various crimes related to the victim, including obstruction of justice.

The victim, now in his thirties, will be the government’s star witness in the federal trial. The trial also includes testimonies from multiple other women who said they were abused by R. Kelly as minors.

R. Kelly is charged with threatening and paying off the victim and her parents in the 2008 trial in an attempt to dissuade them from testifying.  None of them ultimately testified.

R. Kelly is charged with threatening and paying off the victim and her parents in the 2008 trial in an attempt to dissuade them from testifying. None of them ultimately testified.
(Antonio Perez)

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This trial comes after the 55-year-old New York singer was sentenced to 30 years in prison for a 2021 conviction for racketeering and sex trafficking, using his fame to sexually abuse other young fans. He is appealing that conviction.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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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