R. Kelly unlikely to take witness stand as sex crimes trial nears end

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R. Kelly unlikely to take witness stand as sex crimes trial nears end

Testimony in R. Kelly’s racketeering and sex crimes trial could wrap up as soon as Wednesday — as attorneys for the disgraced superstar wind down their defense of the accused perv. 

Brooklyn federal court Judge Ann Donnelly said in court Tuesday that she expects defense testimony to end Wednesday morning and closing statements in the trial to begin by the afternoon. 

It’s unlikely Kelly — who is charged with counts of racketeering and violations of the Mann Act — will testify in his own defense.   

On Tuesday, jurors heard testimony from John Holder, a defense-called witness who worked as an accountant for the disgraced superstar in the year prior to his arrest in the case. 

Holder testified that he never witnessed Kelly abuse women and said the singer’s girlfriends were always dressed “appropriately” when he saw them together. 

Jeffrey Meeks testifies for the defense during R. Kelly's sex abuse trial at Brooklyn's Federal District Court in a courtroom sketch in New York, U.S., September 21, 2021.
Jeffrey Meeks testifies for the defense during R. Kelly’s sex abuse trial at Brooklyn’s Federal District Court in a courtroom sketch on Sept. 21, 2021.
REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

Prosecutors have painted a harrowing picture of Kelly, who they allege sexually assaulted a number of girls while he was the head of an organization that facilitated the abuse for more than two decades. 

One of his victims, prosecutors allege, was R&B singer Aaliyah, who Kelly illegally wed in the 1990s when she was 15 years old. 

R. Kelly accountant John Holder is questioned by defense lawyer Calvin Scholar during R. Kelly's sex abuse trial on Sept. 21, 2021.
R. Kelly accountant John Holder is questioned by defense lawyer Calvin Scholar during R. Kelly’s sex abuse trial on Sept. 21, 2021.
REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

One witness for the prosecution, a backup dancer for Kelly referred to as “Angela,” testified she witnessed Kelly sexually assaulting Aaliyah when she was 13 or 14 in the early 1990s.

The jury in the case will begin deliberating after prosecutors and Kelly’s defense make closing statements, and after Donnelly instructs the panel on laws that apply to the case. 

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