A lady accused R. Kelly of locking her in his Chicago studio for days and raping her after she immediately grew to become unconscious in 2003, as testimony within the singer’s racketeering trial resumed in Brooklyn on Thursday.
The lady, who’s testifying utilizing solely the identify Sonja, stated she first met Mr. Kelly when she was about 21 years outdated and an intern at a radio station in Utah. She informed jurors that she had hoped to land an interview with Mr. Kelly to “kick-start” her profession, and that after they met, she was invited to his studio to talk with him.
But Sonja was held there for days and by no means carried out the interview, she stated. She described waking up on the studio, feeling like “something had been inside” of her, realizing her underwear had been eliminated and seeing Mr. Kelly placing on his pants.
Sonja was the eighth accuser to take the stand in opposition to Mr. Kelly throughout his trial. Others’ accounts have typically included particulars bodily and sexual abuse, and 5 of the folks have testified that they have been underage throughout their first sexual encounters with Mr. Kelly.
The singer, whose actual identify is Robert Sylvester Kelly, has denied the accusations and pleaded not responsible to the fees in opposition to him, which embrace a single rely of racketeering and eight counts of violating an interstate anti-sex trafficking regulation often known as the Mann Act.
Federal prosecutors have accused Mr. Kelly, 54, of operating a decades-long prison plot that used his fame — and a community of associates and workers — to prey on ladies and women for intercourse.
These are the important thing moments from the 13th day of testimony:
A lady says she was imprisoned and raped at R. Kelly’s residence
Sonja testified on Thursday that she was excited for the chance to interview a celebrity when she traveled to Mr. Kelly’s residence within the Chicago space. Instead, she stated, she was locked in a room there for a number of days with out meals. And when an affiliate introduced her Chinese takeout, she took a couple of bites, started to really feel “something coming on” and grew drained.
When she awakened, she stated, she noticed Mr. Kelly “doing up his pants in the corner” close by and seen that “there was some wet stuff in between my legs.”
She stated she noticed her underwear resting on the arm of a close-by sofa, and realized it had been eliminated whereas she was unconscious.
“It felt like something had been inside of me,” she stated. “I believed I was touched sexually.”
When requested by a prosecutor if she consented to any sexual acts with Mr. Kelly, she responded, “absolutely not.”
Mr. Kelly’s residence in Olympia Fields, Ill., the place his recording studio often known as the Chocolate Factory was positioned.Credit…Frank Polich/Associated Press
Sonja, who’s now 39, stated she aspired to pursue a profession in radio when she first met the singer in August 2003 at a mall in Utah. She informed jurors she had hoped to land her “first huge celebrity interview.” But, she testified, Mr. Kelly advised that she journey to his studio, known as the Chocolate Factory, since he didn’t have time on the mall and didn’t need to communicate over the telephone.
She stated that her boss on the radio station gave her a voice recorder for the interview, and that Mr. Kelly’s associates organized and paid for her flight.
But instantly upon her arrival, Sonja stated, she realized one thing was not proper. One of the singer’s associates greeted her surprisingly, she stated.
“He asked me a couple of crazy questions,” she stated, including that when he requested her if she wanted “protection” she thought the person had meant safety. But then, she stated, “he just came out and said, ‘Do you need a condom?’”
Understand the R. Kelly Trial
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What are the fees? Mr. Kelly is going through one cost of racketeering primarily based on sexual exploitation of youngsters, kidnapping and compelled labor, and eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits transporting anybody throughout state strains for prostitution.
Who is testifying? The trial facilities round six ladies, a number of of whom are anticipated to testify. Prosecutors say the singer bodily abused and psychologically manipulated a lot of them and managed a number of facets of their lives, together with after they might eat and use the lavatory. At least three have been underage.
His marriage to Aaliyah. Part of the case includes R. Kelly’s marriage to singer Aaliyah, who was 15 after they wed in 1994. Mr. Kelly’s former tour supervisor testified that R. Kelly bribed a authorities worker in 1994 in order that he might acquire a pretend ID for her.
The 2008 trial. The performer was acquitted in a high-profile prison case introduced in opposition to him on baby pornography costs in 2008. The trial was centered on a videotape that prosecutors stated confirmed the R. Kelly having intercourse with a 14-year-old lady. She refused to testify. Here’s a full timeline of the allegations.
She stated she was confused, and responded, “No, I’m not here for that.”
One of Mr. Kelly’s associates photocopied her identification card, and requested for the telephone numbers of her most up-to-date contacts — together with these of two shut associates, her mom and grandmother — and different contact data for them, she stated.
She testified that she was ultimately directed to a room and informed of a “list of rules” about the best way to behave in the home. But Sonja stated that she realized that the door to her room had been locked from the surface, and that she would want to request permission to make use of the lavatory or eat.
After spending days locked within the room, she stated, she requested a meal, and hours later she was introduced Chinese takeout. She stated she had been “starving,” however after just a few bites, she informed jurors she grew “extremely full” and drained. When Sonja awakened, she stated, she realized that she had been assaulted.
One of Mr. Kelly’s associates later informed Sonja that the singer wouldn’t have time for an interview and threatened her, she stated, warning “you don’t want to mess with Mr. Kelly.”
“He said you can’t tell anybody,” stated Sonja, who was the mom to a younger baby. “He had my address. The address to where my daughter was at.”
During cross-examination, Deveraux L. Cannick, one of many singer’s 4 attorneys, contended that Mr. Kelly had informed Sonja a number of occasions that he by no means deliberate to do an interview. He additionally advised that Sonja, who had not publicly shared her account till taking the stand Thursday, had fabricated her tales after different accusers spoke out publicly in opposition to the singer in a Lifetime documentary.
But Sonja stated that her testimony was true.
“I was sexually assaulted,” she stated. “There was something in me that was something I had not invited.”