‘Predator’ R Kelly clean-cut girls for decades, balloon hears
NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Prosecutors declared R Kelly as a “predator” who acclimated his acclaim to benedict amateur for sex, as an accuser told the aperture day of his much-anticipated New York balloon Wednesday the ashamed R&B brilliant acclimated to bang her for actionable his “rules”.
The Grammy-winning artisan — cutting a blah suit, amethyst tie and glasses — sat silently, his arch bottomward at times as the case laid out a arrangement of agitated corruption central the Brooklyn federal courtroom.
Assistant US Advocate Maria Cruz Melendez declared Kelly as “a man who for decades acclimated his fame, his acceptance and a arrangement of bodies at his auctioning to target, benedict and accomplishment adolescent girls, boys and women for his own animal gratification”.
The 54-year-old is answerable with racketeering, animal corruption of a child, kidnapping, bribery and affected labour amid 1994 and 2018.
He denies the charges, but faces amid 10 years and action in bastille if bedevilled on all counts.
The trial, accepted to aftermost a month, assuredly got underway afterwards a adjournment of added than a year acquired by the coronavirus pandemic.
The government’s aboriginal witness, articular as Jerhonda, said Kelly would blur their animal action back she was 16, beneath the age of consent.
The now-28-year-old said the artist said he was activity to “train me how to amuse him sexually”.
Her affidavit came afterwards prosecutor Melendez said Kelly’s celebrity cachet meant he “had his aces of adolescent fans” and that he aggregate his victims “like objects”.
During aperture statements, she said he acclimated “every ambush in the predator handbook,” abutting minors, admonishment them and their families with promises he could advice their careers afore sexually abusing them.
Melendez added that the accompanist acclimated bodyguards, drivers, runners, attorneys and accountants to awning up crimes.
He bribed his victims by photographing and filming them accepting sex with him and again aggressive to absolution the tapes, she said.
Kelly “exacted atrocious and analytical punishments” to those who abandoned demands, including “violent spankings and beatings,” the prosecutor added.
For decades, the artist built-in Robert Sylvester Kelly has faced accusations, including authoritative adolescent pornography, sex with minors, operating a sex band and animal battery.
Despite the abashing claims and several out-of-court settlements, the accompanist accepted for hits like “I Believe I Can Fly,” “Bump ‘N Grind” and “Ignition (Remix)” maintained a allegiant fan base, continuing to bout worldwide.
His career began to crumble in January 2019 afterwards the absolution of the atomic docuseries “Surviving R Kelly,” which renewed focus on the R&B luminary’s checky history in a post-#MeToo era.
The New York balloon is the aboriginal to put Kelly on the angle in affiliation with a bulk of indictments, including sex crimes cases in Chicago and Illinois.
– ‘Recruits’ –
Kelly is accused of operating a abomination arena that systematically recruited women and adolescent girls for animal relations, locking them in their apartment at hotels back he was on tour, instructing them to abrasion billowing accouterment back not with him, “to accumulate their active down” and to alarm the accompanist “daddy”.
Many of the “recruits” were beneath 18 years old, say prosecutors, who amid added allegations say Kelly’s “enterprise” facilitated sex afterwards advice canker the accompanist had contracted.
The allegation additionally says allotment of the ring’s job was to abstract girls and women, and accomplish them “dependent on Kelly for their banking well-being”.
The prosecution’s case centres on six bearding women, including the accompanist Aaliyah, who died in a even blast at age 22 in 2001.
The allegation alleges that Kelly paid an Illinois government agent in 1994 to access a affected ID to ally an arrears Aaliyah back she was 15 and he was 27, a abutment that was afterwards annulled.
Opening for the defence, advocate Nicole Blank Becker said the victims were afflicted groupies who consented to sex afore acceptable “spiteful” afterwards the relationships ended.
“He didn’t recruit them. They were fans, they came to Mr Kelly,” she said, abacus some of the relationships were “beautiful” and “long-term”.
A board of seven men and bristles women will adjudge Kelly’s fate.
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