R. Kelly’s defense says accusers had motive to lie. ‘Convict him,’ prosecutor says

NEW YORK, Sept 23 (Reuters) – R. Kelly’s accusers ended up motivated by revenue to

NEW YORK, Sept 23 (Reuters) – R. Kelly’s accusers ended up motivated by revenue to lie about his alleged sexual abuses, a attorney for the R&B celebrity argued on Thursday in a last work to persuade jurors not to convict Kelly of sexual intercourse trafficking charges.

In his closing argument in Brooklyn federal courtroom, Kelly’s attorney Deveraux Cannick portrayed the singer’s accusers as previous supporters or jilted lovers hoping to money in on his fame, irrespective of whether through guide contracts or media appearances these types of as in “Surviving R. Kelly,” the 2019 Lifetime documentary.

“They are monetizing. They know what the recreation is. They’re surviving off of R. Kelly,” Cannick explained, invoking the late civil legal rights chief Martin Luther King Jr as he implored jurors to summon what he identified as the braveness to acquit the 54-calendar year-previous singer.

Cannick spoke following Assistant U.S. Lawyer Elizabeth Geddes completed her closing argument, which lasted about six several hours unfold above two days.

Geddes reviewed testimony from dozens of accusers, former staff and other people against the singer, whose entire title is Robert Sylvester Kelly, which includes that he videotaped his exploits and hid his herpes diagnosis prior to intercourse.

“It is time to keep the defendant liable for the suffering he inflicted on each of his victims,” Geddes concluded, repeating the name of each individual accuser. “It is now time for the defendant Robert Kelly to pay out for his crimes. Convict him.”

Recognised for the 1996 Grammy-winning smash “I Feel I Can Fly,” Kelly pleaded not guilty to one particular count of racketeering and 8 counts of illegally transporting persons across state lines for prostitution in a trial that started on Aug. 18.

Prosecutors have portrayed Kelly as a violent predator who used his fame and charisma and deployed folks who worked for him to lure girls and underage women into his sphere.

Kelly is a person of the most popular people today attempted for sexual misconduct through the #MeToo motion, and has for several yrs denied sexual abuse accusations. read additional

His alleged victims involve the late singer Aaliyah, who died in a 2001 aircraft crash.

Jury deliberations may possibly get started on Friday, soon after U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly instructs jurors on the legislation.

Mixed Feelings

Donning black eyeglasses, Kelly had unique reactions as he listened to closing arguments.

He hung his head right after Geddes said a person affiliate experienced copied him on a threatening email to a victim, but later on leaned forward and targeted intensely on Cannick as his lawyer described his accusers’ testimony as “just like butter, fluid.”

Cannick accused prosecutors of attempting to turn almost everything Kelly did into a criminal offense, when in reality he taken care of them “like gold” and took them on purchasing sprees that price more than cars.

He dismissed Jerhonda Speed, the to start with accuser to testify in opposition to Kelly, as a “groupie, stalker extraordinaire,” and explained Kelly’s use of nondisclosure agreements was typical in the leisure market mainly because a lot of men and women are targets.

Cannick also invoked the civil legal rights motion and King’s 1968 assassination to try out to persuade jurors to maintain prosecutors accountable for failing to establish Kelly’s guilt.

“I advised you about Dr. King and the individuals of bravery for a rationale,” Cannick claimed. “Obtaining a conviction of R. Kelly is a massive offer, but a more substantial deal is fairness.”

He urged jurors to use their typical feeling. “Somebody’s everyday living is at stake below,” he claimed.

Kelly did not testify in his possess protection, which could have uncovered him to days of tough questioning from prosecutors.

He faces different criminal rates in federal court in Chicago, and state prices in Illinois and Minnesota.

Reporting by Tyler Clifford and Luc Cohen in New York Editing by Howard Goller

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