The young girl who was recorded in the infamous and wide-spread tape of R. Kelly engaging in sexual acts is going back on years of precedence and cooperating with investigators in the child pornography case against the R&B singer.
You may recall in the 2008 trial against Kelly, the girl in the tape along with her family members refused to testify against the singer. The decision, many believe, ultimately resulted in the jury acquitting the singer. But things have changed since 2008.
Our society’s awareness and understanding of sexual assault has increased while Kelly’s funds have dwindled.
According to The New York Times, the extent of this girl’s cooperation with authorities isn’t clear, her lawyer, Christopher L. Brown spoke of her willingness to work with authorities days after Kelly was accused, in a federal indictment, of paying the girl and her father to lie to investigators to protect him. In the indictment, Kelly gave the girl and her family gifts, money before and after the trial in exchange for her lying to investigators, being unavailable for interviews and refusing to testify against him.
In addition to child pornography, Kelly is facing state and federal charges of obstruction of justice, sexual assault and racketeering. He is accused of perpetrating these acts against 12 women, at least eight of which were underage at the time he was sexually involved with them.
Earlier this week, Kelly who wore ankle shackles along with his orange jumpsuit, pled not guilty to the charges. Though his attorney argued that he was not a flight risk and had appeared at all of his court appointments on time, a judge denied bond calling the case “extraordinarily serious.”
If convicted, Kelly would face the maximum of 195 years in prison. Prosecutors believe that there were many more girls, beyond the initially cited 12, who were victim to Kelly’s abuse.
This decades-long history of abuse was documented through witness and survivor testimony in the dream hampton produced documentary “Surviving R. Kelly” which aired on Lifetime this past January. It’s impact cannot be overstated and a month later, Kelly was facing new charges in Chicago.
Singer Sparkle was the only member from the girl’s family to testify against Kelly in 2008, identifying her niece in the tape. In our exclusive interview, she shared that the decision cost her the relationship with her family.
Since the news of her niece’s cooperation has been made public, Sparkle says she is thrilled.
“I’m beyond pleased to finally hear the mountain I’ve tirelessly worked on moving over the years is now being assisted with the help of my niece and her parents! Of course I’m in full unwavering support of them and their act of courage!”