At R. Kelly’s federal trial in Chicago on Tuesday, August 30, the prosecution rested its case after two weeks of testimony, including from four Kelly accusers, in an effort to show that the singer lured minors for sex, created child pornography, and manipulated his 2008 state trial.
One of the final witnesses for the prosecution was a 42-year-old woman who used the alias “Nia.” She was the fourth and last complainant to testify at the trial in Kelly’s hometown, taking the witness stand on Tuesday morning.
Prosecutors had stated before opening statements that a fifth accuser would testify, but she never did. They didn’t state the rationale.
Nia said Kelly as a master manipulator who lured star-stuck followers like her to sexually assault them before discarding them through her testimony.
The testimony of a 37-year-old woman who went by the nickname “Jane” two weeks ago was the high point of the prosecution’s case.
She testified how Kelly repeatedly assaulted her sexually beginning in 1998 when she was 14 and Kelly was about 30 years old.
Jane’s evidence is crucial to the claim that Kelly fixed the results of his 2008 child pornography trial, in which he was found not guilty.
She said that prior to the trial, Kelly and his colleagues intimidated and paid off her and her parents to lie to a grand jury.
Now Kelly’s and two other co-defendants’ legal teams have the opportunity to refute the prosecution’s case. Jurors were instructed by Judge Harry Leinenweber to take Wednesday off before returning on Thursday to hear from the first defense witness.
The middle of the next week is predicted to be the time for closing arguments.
In June, a federal court in New York sentenced Kelly to 30 years in jail after finding him guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking.
After Nia, then 15 years old, requested him for an autograph in an Atlanta mall in 1996, Kelly handed Nia, an aspiring actress, and model, his phone number, she said.
She said that when Kelly paid for her airline ticket, invited her to a performance in Minnesota, and sent a limousine with an all-red interior to pick her up, he was aware of her age.
Kelly received a crimson rose from Nia, who left it in her hotel room as she made her way to the airport. He kissed her and instructed Kelly to go into bed with him once she entered her room. She claimed to be uneasy but followed his instructions. She added that after caressing each of them, he hurriedly departed.
Even after claims of his abuse were widely known in the 1990s, Kelly continued to sell millions of albums. It wasn’t until the #MeToo reckoning and the 2019 docuseries Surviving R. Kelly that widespread indignation became apparent.
Derrel McDavid and Milton Brown, colleagues of Kelly, are co-defendants in the Chicago trial. Longtime Kelly business manager McDavid is charged with aiding Kelly in fixing the 2008 trial. Brown is accused of obtaining child porn. They have also denied misconduct, like Kelly.