Sex tape shown to R. Kelly jurors

May 20, 2008 5:03:56 PM PDT
Nearly six years after singer R. Kelly's indictment on child pornography charges a jury viewed the videotape that is at the center of this case. The tape allegedly shows Kelly having sex with an underage girl.

The tape was played in court Monday following the trial's opening statements. Prosecutors claim R. Kelly is the star of the sex tape. But defense attorneys argue that the man on the tape is not Kelly.

The trial got off to a bit of a late start Tuesday morning because a juror was excused for financial hardship. An alternate took her place. She is a juror that revealed during jury selection that she is a rape victim.

Meantime, this whole case revolves around the videotape. And it is up to the jury to determine beyond a reasonable doubt who is on that tape six years after the tape was sent to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Robert Kelly is his, as his lawyers call him, finally got his day in court Tuesday. The R&B superstar is charged with child pornography, stemming from a videotape that is now known as People's Exhibit Number One. In her opening statement, assistant state's attorney Shauna Boliker told the jurors this case will "unfold before you frame by disgusting frame."

Prosecutors say R. Kelly and a girl as young as 13 are in a tape showing a male and female engaging in several sex acts. But Kelly's attorney told jurors in his opening statement that Kelly is not the man on the tape. And attorney Sam Adam Jr. says a mole on Kelly's lower back that he's had since childhood will prove that.

After opening statements and a lunch break, the homemade 27-minute videotape was shown in open court. With the shades drawn, jurors watched the tape on a 4x4-foot video monitor that did not appear as clear as a smaller flat-screen TV shown to the public. At the start of the tape, the man gives the female a wad of cash and she says "Thank you." With music playing in the background, the female dances without the male out of view. He returns, and they spent the remainder of the tape engaging in different sexual acts.

On much of the tape the female is naked with the exception of a cross dangling from her neck. The man is heard giving her instructions along the way. At one point, she calls the man "Daddy."

As the tape was shown, R. Kelly sat back in his chair and rested his chin in his hand. His attorneys say, not only is R. Kelly not the man in the tape, but the female who prosecutors have identified says she is not the person in the tape. They also told jurors that no one, not even prosecutors, know where the tape originally came from. Adam said that the copy that the prosecutors have admitted into evidence is a copy of a copy of a copy.

Tuesday afternoon, jurors heard from a former police detective that investigated this case. He is an expert on child pornography. He had a slip of the tongue when he actually said that he recognized the female on the videotape from a previous investigation. He was not supposed to mention the word "investigation." At that point the judge threatened a mistrial, but that did not happen, and the trial continues.


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