CHICAGO– Two more accusers took the witness stand in R. Kelly’s child pornography and solicitation trial on Monday, bringing to three the total number of accusers who have been examined to date in the federal trial in Chicago.
The first accuser, who tried two weeks ago under the pseudonym “Jane”, is critical of another charge: that the RThe &B singer successfully rigged his state child pornography trial in 2008 by threatening witnesses and withholding video evidence.
Kelly, 55, was sentenced to 30 years in prison by a federal judge in New York in June on convictions on racketeering and sex trafficking charges.
In all, the prosecution has named five accusers in pre-trial filings, though it is unclear whether the remaining two accusers will testify before the government rests sometime this week. The trial was expected to last a month and conclude in mid-September.
An accuser who used the pseudonym “Pauline,” jurors said Monday that she was a classmate of Jane’s in high school and that Jane introduced her to Kelly in 1998 when they were 14 and Kelly was around 30.
When she was at Kelly’s home in Chicago later that year, Pauline said she began to find Kelly and Jane naked in a basement area. She said that Kelly told her that “we all have secrets” and that this is “our secret.”
Pauline told the jury several times that she loved Kelly. But, as a 37-year-old mother, she said she now had a different perspective.
“If someone did something to my children, I will kill them. period,” she said.
Kelly sexually abused her more than 100 times, starting when she was 14, and they first had sex when she was 15, she proved.
During cross-examination, Kelly’s lead attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, accused Pauline of being vague about how many times she had sex with Kelly when she was a minor.
“Whether it’s once or twice, what’s wrong is wrong,” Pauline replied.
The second accuser who testified Monday, referred to only as Tracy, said she was introduced to Kelly by a head of a record company where she was interning in 1998 when she was 16. Tracy told the jury that she repeatedly rebuffed Kelly’s advances.
In a room in Kelly’s studio in Chicago, he recalled telling her after he started pulling her closer to him, “Do you know I’m 16?” Minutes later, when he “exposed himself…I tried to walk away, but he had a hold on my shirt,” Tracy tried on her.
On another occasion, he described Kelly walking into a hotel room where Tracy was staying and yelling at her for having clothes under her bathrobe.
“I told her I didn’t want to have sex,” she tried.
But she said Kelly ordered her to get into bed with him anyway and at various times used force to sexually assault her. He said he first had sex with Kelly when he was 16, then dozens of times when he was 17 and 18.
Tracy broke down in tears on the stand Monday as she began to tell the jury about the day Kelly walked into a room where Tracy had been waiting. Kelly arrived with Jane.
“I was really confused and really angry,” she recalled. “I really didn’t think there was anyone other than me and Rob.”
Kelly’s 2008 trial revolved around a video that state prosecutors said showed Kelly abusing Jane. But after Kelly was acquitted in 2008, jurors said they had no choice because the girl did not take the witness stand in that trial.
Jane testified at the current trial and said that she was the girl in the video and Kelly was the adult man.