Defense rests case in R. Kelly trial

R. Kelly’s defense lawyers rested their case Monday after calling about half the number of witnesses as prosecutors in less than half the time.

Kelly’s lawyers called 12 witnesses over two days last week at his child pornography case, including three relatives of the alleged victim who testified they did not recognize the female who appears in a sex tape at the heart of the case.

The prosecution called 22 witnesses over seven days. They included several childhood friends of the alleged victim and four of her relatives who identified her as the female on the graphic, 27-minute video.

Kelly and the alleged victim, who both deny being on the tape, never testified.

Jurors sat in court for just minutes Monday morning before Judge Vincent Gaughan sent them home, saying they would have to return Tuesday to hear two rebuttal witnesses for the prosecution.

Kelly, 41, has pleaded not guilty to child pornography for allegedly videotaping himself having sex with a female who prosecutors say was at young as 13. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

Kelly won a Grammy in 1997 for “I Believe I Can Fly,” and is known for such raunchy songs as “Bump N’ Grind,” “Ignition,” and for “Trapped in the Closet,” a multipart saga about the sexual secrets of a lively and ever-expanding cast of characters.

One observer in the courtroom gallery Monday was actor Eric Lane, who plays the hotheaded character Twan in the “Trapped in the Closet” series.

Closing arguments will likely take place Thursday, Gaughan said.

A lower-back mole — already the focus of hours of testimony — will again be a central issue during Tuesday’s rebuttal, prosecutor Shauna Boliker told the judge.


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