R. Kelly is set to stand trial again on August 15, this time for charges connected to child pornography and obstruction of justice stemming from his infamous 2008 trial in Chicago. The long-awaited trial comes almost two months after a judge slammed the singer with a 30-year prison sentence on charges of federal racketeering and sex trafficking in NYC.
On Monday, one of the top accusers in the Chicago trial will finally take the stand to testify against the singer. The 14-year-old minor, who Kelly allegedly urinated on during his shocking sex tape, will give a testimony about her relationship with the disgraced singer. According to AP News, the woman who is now in her 30s will also address previous claims about whether she was bribed or threatened out of testifying years ago during the 2008 trial. At the time, the woman, who is identified in court filings as “Minor 1” denied that she was the 14-year-old girl seen in the startling VHS video and she never took the stand to testify. Kelly was later acquitted.
During Monday’s trial, prosecutors will play the VHS tape containing “Minor 1” in court. They will also enter three new videos in evidence, but it’s still unclear whether the new footage is also from 2008. The Chicago trial will most likely be a do-over of the 2008 case, according to one legal expert.
“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, a lawyer who worked briefly on Kelly’s defense team in 2020 told NBC News.
“The government has a theory in this case that there was a cover-up or interference with his former trial and state court years and years ago, which is quite different from what they were doing in New York.”
Minor 1 first met Kelly in the late 1990s when she was in junior high school. The young woman was introduced to the “I Believe I Can Fly” hitmaker at his Chicago recording studio after her aunt, a professional singer working with the star at the time, took her along for a visit. According to court documents, after their encounter, Minor 1 and Kelly had sex “hundreds of times” over the years at his Chicago home and while the singer was on tour.
Minor 1’s parents allegedly confronted Kelly about the VHS sex tape when it surfaced in the early 2000s. According to government filings, the singer allegedly told them, “You’re with me or against me” at the time. The filing adds, “Minor 1’s mother did not want to go up against Kelly’s power, money, and influence by not following what he said.”
In addition to Minor 1, four other victims are set to testify against the Grammy-award-winner.