CHICAGO (AP) – R Kelly’s lead attorney yesterday got her chance to deliver her closing argument to federal jurors in Chicago, a day after a prosecutor told them that weeks of evidence proved the singer parlayed his fame to sexually abuse minors and record the abuse on video.
Kelly faces charges including production of child pornography, enticing minor girls for sex and obstruction of justice by rigging his 2008 child pornography trial in state court, at which he was acquitted.
In her closing, prosecutor Elizabeth Pozolo described Kelly as a secret sexual predator.
“Robert Kelly abused many girls over many years,” she said, referring to the 55-year-old Grammy winner by his full first name. “He committed horrible crimes against children. All these years later, the hidden side of Robert Kelly has come out.”
Kelly attorney Jennifer Bonjean twice called for a mistrial on Monday, complaining that closing arguments by attorneys for Kelly co-defendants Derrell McDavid and Milton Brown were grounded in the presumption that “the world now knows Mr Kelly is a sex predator.”
“The presumption of innocence has been abolished for him,” Bonjean said, meaning Kelly was unable to get a fair trial. Judge Harry Leinenweber denied the requests.
Prosecutors will have the opportunity for a short rebuttal after Bonjean gives her closing argument in Kelly’s hometown of Chicago, where he rose from poverty to become an R&B superstar.