The tapes showing the alleged encounters were part of a 2008 Illinois child pornography trial in which Kelly was acquitted after the witness refused to take the position. Now nearly 40 years old, she is finally expected to testify under the pseudonym “Jane,” Assistant US Attorney Jason Julien said during his opening statement.
“Jane is going to testify. Jane is going to tell you it’s her in the videos,” Julien told the judges. “That it’s Kelly on the videos having sex with her.”
Kelly is accused of sexually abusing five minors in the late 1990s and making multiple explicit videos with four of them. The charges also include producing and receiving child pornography, enticing minors into criminal sexual activity, and obstruction of justice charges.
Two of his former associates are co-defendants. Derrel McDavid was Kelly’s former business manager and accountant and is accused of child pornography and obstruction. Milton “June” Brown was Kelly’s former assistant and is facing a conspiracy charge to receive child pornography. Kelly, McDavid and Brown each pleaded not guilty to the charges.
“Defendant Robert Kelly had sex with several children. He videotaped himself having sex with young children. And these two defendants Derrel McDavid and Milton Brown knew about it. Derrel McDavid and Milton Brown helped Kelly cover it up and keep it a secret ‘ said Julian.
Kelly’s attorney Jennifer Bonjean asked jurors to wonder why Jane is now coming forward to testify that the tapes show Kelly having sex with her when she was a minor, contradicting what she told authorities decades ago.
“For the past 22 years, she has adamantly denied that it was her in that video. Before there was any criminal investigation, she denied it. She repeatedly denied it to prosecutors, she denied it to social workers and police officers. She denied it under oath to a grand jury,” Bonjean said.
Prosecutors are expected to show multiple tapes of child pornography in which Kelly allegedly had sex with underage girls. The public and the media are not allowed to view the tapes, as they are considered contraband, but jurors are.
“The videos are hard to watch,” Julien said. “But it’s important for all of you to watch those videos to understand what happened.”
Before the opening statements began, a juror was excused by U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber over medical issues. The jury now consists of four men and eight women, along with five deputies, who were sworn in on Tuesday.
Kelly’s Inner Circle
Both Milton Brown and Derrel McDavid began working with Kelly around the peak of his career in the 1990s.
But when allegations came to light in 2001 that a tape had leaked showing Kelly having sex with a minor, prosecutors said the couple and others in Kelly’s inner circle sprang into action.
“Kelly, Brown and McDavid have gone to extraordinary lengths to get that bond back,” Julien said.
But Vadim Glozman, an attorney for McDavid, told jurors that Kelly, Jane and her family were unfair to McDavid and the team of powerful entertainment attorneys and denied that the footage showed Kelly having sex with Jane when she was a minor.
“We’ll show you that everything he (McDavid) saw and everything he was told led him to believe that the tape was not legit,” Glozman said. “Because he believed that, it was never his intention to obstruct justice or break the law. His sole intention was to provide the best defense possible.”
That defense team helped Kelly win his trial in 2008. Glozman said McDavid will take the stand during this trial to tell the jurors what he was and wasn’t doing at the time, and that he thought he was just doing his job.
In an opening statement, Brown’s attorney Kathleen Leon portrayed him as a small-town high school dropout trying to break into the music industry and felt he hit the jackpot when he started working for Kelly as one of his assistants. , an “errant boy”.
“The evidence will prove that he was just an assistant who went about his duties day in and day out,” Leon said. “He had no knowledge of the secrets his employer Robert Kelly was hiding from the world. He was not aware of any conspiracy and did not know that the person portrayed on the VHS tape was a minor.”
Disturbing videos from Jane
Prosecutors said Jane came from a musical family. Her aunt, known professionally as Sparkle, signed a recording contract with Kelly. Jane’s father played guitar on several of Kelly’s records.
“Kelly became the sole source of income for Jane’s family,” Julien told the judges.
Jane met Kelly when she was about 12 or 13 years old in the mid-1990s, and the singer eventually became her godfather.
“Kelly never became Jane’s godfather in a religious sense,” Julien said. “But being Jane’s ‘godfather’ offered a cover to spend time with her.”
Jane was about 13 or 14 when Kelly took her virginity, Julien said. Kelly was about 31.
“Kelly taught Jane what to do to please Kelly sexually. Kelly told Jane how to position her body during sex. What he wanted Jane to say to him during sex,” Julien said.
One thing Kelly and Jane discussed during sex was her age, Julien said.
Julien said judges will see Kelly set up and adjust a camcorder before having sex with Jane, giving a disturbing description of what the tapes show.
Prosecutors said Jane’s story was not an outlier in Kelly’s world, that he also had sex with her underage friends, who are also expected to testify at the trial.