R. Kelly trial: Kansas City man testifies singer promised him $1M to recover stolen sex tapes

Leah Hope Image
Tuesday, August 23, 2022
Kansas City man testifies about tracking down R. Kelly sex tapes
A Kansas City man testified Tuesday about being hired to track down sex tapes for R. Kelly to avoid an earlier case in Cook County.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Kansas City man testified Tuesday that he tracked down sex tapes at the request of R. Kelly and his associates for money.

The government's case against the R&B singer focused one evidence regarding the conspiracy allegations against him and his co-defendants to allegedly avoid conviction in a Cook County case.

Charles Freeman testified he was promised $1 million to get video tapes stolen from Kelly. Freeman said he was sent to a home in Georgia to recover the tapes.

He said he watched one, and told the jury, "I observed Robert Kelly with a young lady having sex."

SEE ALSO | R. Kelly jury views graphic videos of alleged sexual encounters with a minor

Freeman said he was forced to take a polygraph test before he got paid by Kelly's team, and during the test he was asked if it was the only tape.

Freeman said much of the negotiations were with Kelly's business manager and now-co-defendant Derrel McDavid.

Freeman testified McDavid assured him Kelly appreciated his efforts, saying, "He said he loves you and he appreciates you. You are going to get all your money."

In 2008, Freeman testified that the other co-defendant, Milton June Brown, gave him $10,000 and that Brown said of Kelly, "He said, you know Rob got you."

Freeman said he was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years, but short of the $1 million, despite two lawsuits and threatening to tell the media. He also testified that he kept a copy of the tape.

So in 2019, when Freeman heard federal agents were coming after him for allegedly holding child pornography for Kelly, he turned over the tape and entered into an immunity deal with federal prosecutors.

A woman testified last week she was the 14-year-old in the video that Freeman recovered. The government is expected to call four other women to testify they also had inappropriate contact with Kelly when they were minors.

In 2008, Kelly was tried and acquitted for child pornography in a Cook County case. In that trial, the teenager in a video did not cooperate with prosecutors.