A juror in R. Kelly’s federal trial on expenses of kid pornography and obstruction of justice was changed Monday after she had a panic assault throughout closing arguments.
The juror, a white lady who works for a public library, was excused by the decide round 3:30 p.m. native time, hours into closing arguments from prosecutors and protection attorneys.
“I’ve been suggested she mentioned she will’t go on one minute extra,” U.S. District Choose Harry Leinenweber mentioned earlier than he changed Juror 44 with Juror 83, a white man.
The swap got here after Assistant U.S. Legal professional Elizabeth Pozolo and a protection legal professional had offered closing arguments. The trial continued after the change was made.
Kelly, 55, is on trial in federal court docket in Chicago on expenses of kid pornography and obstruction of justice. He’s already serving a 30-year jail sentence after he was discovered responsible final yr in New York Metropolis on expenses of federal racketeering and intercourse trafficking.
Pozolo advised jurors Monday that Kelly had dedicated “horrible crimes towards youngsters” after which, with assist from his enterprise companions, tried to cowl up his actions as a result of he knew they might be “utterly damning.”
The singer, whose authorized identify is Robert Sylvester Kelly, is being tried alongside his former enterprise supervisor, Derrel McDavid, and an affiliate, Milton “June” Brown, who’re each accused of conspiring with him to intimidate and bribe witnesses and to cowl up proof in a 2008 legal trial on little one pornography expenses in Cook dinner County.
Of the three, solely McDavid testified through the trial.
In closing arguments, McDavid’s protection legal professional, Beau Brindley, attacked the credibility of two authorities witnesses who testified that he conspired with Kelly.
“The one two individuals who mentioned he did something incorrect are two individuals who plainly lied,” Brindley mentioned.
“The proof suits collectively to reveal a lie,” he mentioned.
An legal professional for Brown, Mary Choose, mentioned he was “nothing greater than an assistant” to Kelly and that he didn’t find out about any wrongdoing and due to this fact couldn’t have been concerned in overlaying it up.
Brown “had no information of what was on the tapes, and there’s no proof that he did,” Choose mentioned, referring to movies that prosecutors allege recorded Kelly sexually abusing a minor.
Jurors heard solely from Pozolo, Brindley and Choose on Monday. Closing arguments will proceed Tuesday with Choose and Kelly’s legal professional.
A big crowd of followers and supporters lined as much as get into the courtroom Monday morning to catch a glimpse of Kelly.
Contained in the courtroom, a supporter quietly learn aloud from the Bible, whereas one other recited the rosary. One other lady requested folks to maneuver out of her line of sight throughout breaks within the trial so she may hold her eyes locked on Kelly. A number of individuals who tried to sneak into the courtroom have been escorted out by marshals.
Prosecutors have sought all through the monthlong trial to show that Kelly and his associates conspired to maintain video recordings of him allegedly sexually abusing a minor from coming to gentle. Prosecutors confirmed jurors components of the movies.
Kelly, McDavid and Brown did their finest “to cowl up the truth that R. Kelly, the R&B famous person, is definitely a sexual predator,” Pozolo mentioned Monday.
“Robert Kelly abused many ladies over a few years. He dedicated horrible crimes towards youngsters. And he didn’t do it alone,” Pozolo mentioned. McDavid and Brown “labored to get these tapes again as a result of they might be utterly damning.”
Kelly, who has denied any wrongdoing, was acquitted in 2008 in a case that revolved round one of many tapes after the lady who purportedly appeared within the recording refused to testify on the trial. Jurors on the time mentioned that made it troublesome for them to convict Kelly.
The girl, who’s now 37 and was recognized by the pseudonym Jane in court docket, was the prosecution’s star witness on this trial.
Jane testified that she had intercourse with Kelly “tons of” of occasions from age 15 to 18. Underneath questioning from prosecutors, she mentioned she did so as a result of she was intimidated by him and thought of him an “authoritative determine.”
Pozolo mentioned in closing arguments that Kelly “took benefit of Jane’s youth” for his personal “sick pleasure.”
“She was courageous sufficient to return ahead in spite of everything these years to let you know what occurred,” Pozolo advised jurors in her closing argument.
Kelly’s legal professional, Jennifer Bonjean, beforehand advised jurors that they should determine whether or not they imagine the accusers and the witnesses to be credible, stating that Jane had beforehand denied that she was the individual within the video with Kelly.
Samira Puskar contributed.