Background in R. Kelly child porn trial

June 13, 2008 11:53:47 AM PDT
"I feel in love with the future," said R. Kelly in an interview with ABC7 nine years ago. "I was wanted to be successful to make people remember me."

For singer R. Kelly the future is now and it is his legal troubles rather than his music that has made headlines in recent years. Kelly was at top of his career when he spoke to ABC7 nine years ago, the same time period police say he made the infamous videotape with an underage girl.

Kelly grew up in a housing project on Chicago's South Side. He caught the music bug at a high school talent show.

Kelly's career took off in the 1990's -- not only winning three Grammy's for the hit "I Believe I Can Fly" but the R&B superstar produced and wrote for several successful artists.

Kelly also helped many young talents, including Stephanie Edwards, known as "Sparkle." She would later testify against Kelly, identifying the singer and the female on the tape as her niece.

The criminal case against Kelly all began in 2002 when someone anonymously sent Chicago Sun-Times music critic Jim Derogatis a tape allegedly showing a Kelly and a girl as young as 13 having sex.

Six years ago, Kelly was charged with 21 counts of child pornography -- which was later reduced to 14.

Over the years, Kelly's defense changed. Kelly claimed he was not the man on the tape and the victim said she was not young female on the tape.

Without a victim, prosecutors were forced to try a case, bringing in over 13 witnesses who identified Kelly and the girl on the tape, including the girl's friends, relatives and former coaches. But the key witness was 27-year-old Lisa Van Allen. She testified having three-way sex with Kelly and the alleged victim. Van Allen said two of the encounters were videotaped by Kelly.

The case against the singer also came down to the battle of the video experts. One saying it was impossible to doctor or morph the tape, while another testifying it was possible.


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