Defense rests case in R. Kelly trial

June 9, 2008 4:44:36 PM PDT
In a surprise move, the defense rested its case today in the child pornography trial of singer R. Kelly.Closing arguments could begin Thursday.

It took six years for the case of R. Kelly to go to trial, and now it's winding down. The defense rested after only two days of testimony. And while the defense is not legally obligated to put on a case, legal experts say jurors are likely, even though they're instructed not to, consider who didn't take the stand.

R. Kelly and the alleged victim did not testify. Both claim they are not the man and young female on the tape.

"It cuts both ways. You have jurors thinking is it possible the victim was given some incentive not to show up. On the other hand, you may have jurors say, 'She wasn't here, if it really happened, why wasn't she here?'" said Richard Kling, Kent School of Law.

R. Kelly is charged with child pornography stemming from the videotape the prosecutors allege shows the singer and 13, or 14-year-old girl having sex. The defense says it can't be Kelly because he has a mole on his lower back. A defense expert examined the video and said there is no mole and said the tape could be doctored through computerized editing.

"If they had evidence there was a video expert hired (saying), 'Here's how it happened and here's how it was morphed and changed,' then that would be a lot more persuasive," said Kling.

Prosecutors are bringing their own video expert to the stand Tuesday to rebuff the mole and morphing defense theories.

An Atlanta prosecutor is expected to testify by denying the defense suggestions that key witness Lisa Van Allen testified only to get a deal for her fiance who was recently arrested for weapons and drug charges in Georgia. Van Allen told jurors she had a three-way sexual encounter with Kelly and the alleged victim.


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