While R. Kelly’s Brooklyn criminal trial resulted in him being found guilty of racketeering and sentenced to 30 years in prison, the trial was just the first of many. The disgraced R&B singer is set to stand trial in Illinois for similar crimes. He also has forthcoming trials in Florida, Georgia, and Minnesota. But recent reports reveal that a witness from his 2008 child pornography trial, which resulted in him being found not guilty, is a surprise witness in his upcoming trial.
R. Kelly’s upcoming trial to have surprise witness from his 2008 child pornography case
Kelly’s next trial is set to begin on Monday, Aug. 15. His first trial featured testimony from employees and accusers. But one person who will take the stand this time around is the alleged victim in his 2008 child pornography trial.
In the video centered around the 2008 trial was said to be a 14-year-old teenager who Kelly allegedly urinated on during recording. She, now in her 30s, is set to take the stand to detail her relationship with Kelly. Madame Noire reports that the woman will also address previous claims about whether she was bribed or threatened out of testifying in the original trial.
At the time of the 2008 trial, the teenager was identified as “Minor 1” and denied that she was the 14-year-old girl in the video, despite family members and friends of the girl taking the stand to identify her. She never testified. Kelly was later acquitted, with many believing he was found not guilty because the alleged victim didn’t testify.
The video will be played as evidence in the upcoming trial
During the forthcoming trial, prosecutors will play the VHS tape containing “Minor 1” in court for jurors to view. There are also reportedly three new additional videos to be played and used as evidence. It’s unclear whether the new footage submitted is also from 2008 and features the same victim.
According to a legal expert, prosecutors are using this trial as a do-over of the original failed 2008 trial. “This case is more centered on things that happened in the past, particularly with regard to the prior legal proceedings in state court in Illinois,’’ Michael Leonard told NBC News. Leonard briefly worked on Kelly’s legal team in 2020.
R. Kelly reportedly bribed the victim and her family
For years, it’s been rumored that Kelly bribed the victim and her family with a financial settlement and a lavish vacation in order for them to not testify against him. In fact, the alleged victim’s father is said to be a musician who continued working with Kelly after the trial. Singer Sparkle took the stand in the 2008 trial and identified the alleged victim as her niece.
The alleged victim is said to have first met Kelly in the late ‘90s when she was in junior high school and was to work with Kelly on music. Court documents allege that after meeting, the alleged victim and Kelly had sex “hundreds of times” over the years at his Chicago home and while he was on tour.
The alleged victim’s parents, one of which is said to be Sparkle’s brother, allegedly confronted Kelly about the sex tape. Government filings allege Kelly allegedly told them, “You’re with me or against me” adding that “Minor 1’s mother did not want to go up against Kelly’s power, money, and influence by not following what he said.”