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 stand. Now nearly 40 years old, she should finally testify, under the pseudonym of “Jane”, said assistant US prosecutor Jason Julien during his opening statement.
“Jane is going to testify. Jane is going to tell you it’s her on the videos,” Julien told the jurors. “That it’s Kelly on the videos sleeping with her.”
Kelly faces charges of sexually abusing five minors in the late 1990s and creating several explicit videos with four of them. The charges also include producing and receiving child pornography, enticing minors to engage in criminal sexual activity, and charges of obstruction.
Two of his former associates are co-accused. Derrel McDavid was Kelly’s former business manager and accountant and faces charges of child pornography and obstruction. Milton “June” Brown was Kelly’s former assistant and faces one count of conspiracy to receive child pornography. Kelly, McDavid and Brown each pleaded not guilty to the charges.
“Defendant Robert Kelly had sex with several children. He made videos of himself having sex with young children. And those two defendants, Derrel McDavid and Milton Brown, were at the Derrel McDavid and Milton Brown helped Kelly cover it up and keep it a secret,” Julien said.
Kelly’s lawyer Jennifer Bonjean has asked jurors to consider why Jane is now coming forward to testify that tapes show Kelly had sex with her when she was underage, contradicting what she said to the authorities decades ago.
“For the past 22 years, she has categorically denied that it was her in that video. Before there was a criminal investigation, she denied it. She repeatedly denied it to prosecutors, she denied it. ‘denied social workers to police officers an oath in front of a grand jury,’ Bonjean said.
Prosecutors are expected to show several tapes of child pornography allegedly involving Kelly having sex with underage girls. The public and the media will not be allowed to view the tapes, as they are considered contraband, but jurors will.
“The videos are hard to watch,” Julien said. “But it’s important that you watch all of these videos to understand what happened.”
Before opening statements began, a juror was excused by U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber due to medical issues. The jury is now made up of four men and eight women, as well as five alternates, who were sworn in on Tuesday.
Kelly’s inner circle
Both Milton Brown and Derrel McDavid began working with Kelly at the height of her career in the 1990s.
But when allegations began to surface in 2001 that a leaked tape showing Kelly having sex with a minor, prosecutors said the couple and other members of Kelly’s inner circle took action. .
“Kelly, Brown and McDavid went to extraordinary lengths to recover this tape,” Julien said.
But Vadim Glozman, a lawyer for McDavid, told jurors that Kelly, Jane and her family were not truthful to McDavid and the high profile entertainment team of lawyers and denied that the tapes showed Kelly had any sex with Jane when she was underage.
“We’re going to show you that everything he (McDavid) saw and everything he was told led him to believe the tape wasn’t legit,” Glozman said. “Because he believed this, there was never any intent to obstruct justice or break the law. The only intent was to present the best defense possible.”
This defense team helped Kelly win his trial in 2008. Glozman said McDavid would speak at that trial to tell jurors what he did and didn’t do during that time, and that he believed he was simply doing his job.
In an opening statement, Kathleen Leon, an attorney for Brown, portrayed him as a small-town 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 “errand boy”.
“The evidence will prove that he was just an assistant who, day in and day out, carried out his professional duties,” Leon said. “He had no knowledge of the secrets his employer Robert Kelly held tightly and hidden from the world. He had no knowledge of a conspiracy and was unaware that the individual depicted on the VHS tape was a minor.”
Disturbing Videos of Jane
Prosecutors said Jane came from a musical family. Her aunt, known professionally as Sparkle, signed Kelly to a recording contract. Jane’s father played guitar on several Kelly records.
“Kelly became the sole source of income for Jane’s family,” Julien told jurors.
Jane met Kelly when she was around 12 or 13 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’ provided a cover to spend time with her.”
Jane was around 13 or 14 when Kelly took her virginity, Julien said. Kelly was around 31 years old.
“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 tell him during sex,” Julien said.
One thing Kelly and Jane discussed during sex was her age, Julien said.
Julien said jurors would see Kelly set up a camcorder and adjust it before having sex with Jane, and offered a disturbing description of what the tapes show.
Prosecutors said Jane’s story was not an aberration in Kelly’s world, that he also had sex with his underage friends, who are also expected to testify at trial.