Trapped In The Courtroom
After six years of delay, the R. Kelly trial has gotten under way in what promises to be an intense legal battle over whether a sex tape allegedly filmed by the singer featured a girl reported to be 13 at the time.
Assistant Cook County state’s attorney Shauna Boliker painted a scathing picture of Kelly as the video’s mastermind during opening statements. She claimed the singer abused the trust of the girl in the film and commanded her to perform, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
"Everything was written, directed and choreographed by Robert Kelly – the angle, the lighting," Boliker said. "This case is about child pornography that was created, staged, produced and starred in by the defendant that sits before you, Robert Kelly."
However, defense attorney Sam Adam Jr. explained to jurors that the singer, who has pleaded not guilty, is a victim of mistaken identity, the Sun-Times reported.
"Robert Kelly is not on that tape," Adam said. "I stand before you on May 20, 2008, to tell you [the alleged victim] is not on that tape."
Adam claimed Kelly has a "significant" mole on his back that the man in the tape does not have, which will clearly prove his client’s innocence.
The attorney also claimed that the alleged victim in the video, who will not be testifying, "is not a victim because she is not the girl on that tape."
Further questions in the case could arise regarding on the origins of the video, which was reportedly mailed to Chicago Sun-Times music critic Jim DeRogatis in 2002, then turned over to police. DeRogatis has been subpoenaed by the defense team and is expected to appear in court May 23rd.
If convicted, Kelly could face up to 15 years in prison.