R Kelly jury selected for Chicago trial on child pornography charges

ByLeah Hope and Christian Piekos WLS logo
Wednesday, August 17, 2022
R. Kelly Chicago trial jury selected
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R Kelly's trial jury has been selected in Chicago for child pornography charges.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A jury has been selected for singer R. Kelly's Chicago child pornography trial.

Word that a final jury had been chosen came down just before 6 p.m. Tuesday.

More than 100 Illinois residents were questioned to see if they can serve on the celebrity's jury. Opening statements will start Wednesday.

Kelly is accused of creating child pornography and, along with his co-defendants Derrel McDavid and Milton Brown, accused of trying to pay off a minor seen in a pornographic video and her family to avoid prosecution in Cook County.

His accusers are five young women who prosecutors say were underage when Kelly allegedly engaged in sex acts with them and made videos of the abuse. The trial is expected to last four weeks. It is not known how many, if any, of the women will testify, or if Kelly will take the stand.

A family friend of Kelly's came to Chicago from out of state to show support to the star she considers a brother.

"It is important for me to be here because I believe my brother is innocent, and to show support," said Alicia Evans.

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Among the questions asked of prospective jurors is whether they have seen the documentary "Surviving R. Kelly," and could they be fair and open-minded if selected. Even with that thorough questioning, Evans is skeptical the singer can get an impartial jury.

"I strongly feel that no jurors that have seen the documentary or even watched it with family, I don't think they should be on the jury," she said.

Why is R. Kelly on trial again?

Kelly is in custody after being convicted and sentenced in New York for racketeering and sex trafficking.

The cases come after accusations about Kelly's behavior with young women surfaced, some of which are the subject of the "Surviving R. Kelly" documentary.

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