FBI expert: Sex tape at R. Kelly trial not altered

May 29, 2008 5:08:19 PM PDT
Video experts testified during the R. Kelly trial on Thursday while the jury waits to hear testimony from other witnesses. A mystery witness responsible for halting the R. Kelly trial this week walked into the Criminal Courts Building escorted by one of Kelly's attorneys, Sam Adam Jr. The witness' arrival in Chicago comes one day after he contacted the defense team to say he had information that could undermine the testimony of one of the state's star witnesses.

All week spectators awaited the testimony of an Atlanta woman who is expected to tell the jury she participated in a three-way sexual encounter with Kelly and the alleged victim. Because prosecutors haven't finished taking her deposition, the woman has yet to be called as a witness.

Instead, the jury was treated to dry and technical but significant testimony about videotape. Two video experts were called to the stand, including FBI forensic expert George Skaluba, who told jurors that the tape, now known as the People's Exhibit #1, is a multigenerational copy. Skaluba also said, "There is no sign of physical splices and no sign of morphing the video."

The defense has suggested throughout the trial that the tape allegedly showing R. Kelly and the young female having sex has been doctored. During the testimony of the second forensic video expert, jurors were shown clips of the explicit videotape.

In his observation, expert Grant Fredericks testified how one individual was responsible for making "in-camera edits," or turning the camera on and off when changing scene. This testimony goes to the production aspect of the tape. Prosecutors accuse Kelly of producing and starring in his own videotape.

The last witness late Thursday afternoon had damaging evidence for the defense. During opening statements, the defense showed a picture of R. Kelly's back with a mole on it. The defense says the videotape may have shown the man doesn't have a mole on his back. But Thursday's video expert showed jurors frame by frame of the videotape which showed the man on the videotape did have a mole on his back.

The trial resumes on Monday.


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