Kelly, mom of the witness “Religion”, testifies throughout R. Kelly’s intercourse abuse trial at Brooklyn’s Federal District Court docket in a courtroom sketch in New York, U.S., September 1, 2021. REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg
September 1, 2021
By Tyler Clifford
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A girl who accuses R. Kelly of sexually abusing her advised jurors at his racketeering trial on Wednesday that she was unnerved when she noticed a gun close to the place the R&B singer pressured her to carry out oral intercourse on him.
In her second day of testimony, the girl, who recognized herself as Religion, stated the Los Angeles encounter befell in January 2018, close to the tip of an 11-month relationship throughout which Kelly flew her a number of occasions to concert events or recording studios and skilled her to please him sexually.
Religion, who stated she was 19 when she met the then-50-year-old Kelly at a San Antonio live performance in March 2017, testified that the gun left her “intimidated” and frightened of what would occur if she tried to depart.
“I wasn’t even going to step out of line,” she advised the jury of seven males and 5 ladies in Brooklyn federal courtroom.
On cross-examination, Kelly’s lawyer Deveraux Cannick tried to poke holes in Religion’s testimony, making an attempt to indicate jurors it was her option to hold seeing the singer regardless of her claims she didn’t at all times welcome his sexual advances.
“You participated by yourself will,” Cannick stated to Religion.
Kelly, whose full identify is Robert Sylvester Kelly, has been on trial since Aug. 18 for operating what prosecutors known as a decades-long scheme concentrating on ladies and ladies for intercourse, with the assistance of staff and assistants in his entourage.
Recognized for the 1996 Grammy-winning tune “I Consider I Can Fly,” the 54-year-old Kelly has pleaded not responsible to at least one racketeering rely and eight counts of violating an interstate intercourse trafficking regulation.
Religion stated her relationship with Kelly resulted in February 2018 at a lodge in Manhattan, the place she resisted his want for intercourse and made it bodily troublesome for him to try intercourse.
“I do know I had pissed him off,” Religion stated.
Quickly after returning dwelling to Texas, Religion stated she examined constructive for type-1 herpes.
She blamed Kelly, and stated he wouldn’t focus on it on a later telephone name, after she had employed authorized counsel.
“I knew it was him,” Religion stated.
Cannick challenged a few of Religion’s recollections, asking how she might keep in mind so many particulars of her ultimate interactions with Kelly in 2018 when “you don’t keep in mind what time you met with (prosecutors) on Sunday.”
Religion additionally stated she didn’t like being labeled a “sufferer” of Kelly, mirroring her feedback from an earlier podcast.
“You’re not a sufferer?” Cannick requested.
“Appropriate,” Religion responded.
Kelly’s indictment describes the alleged mistreatment of six ladies and ladies, together with the late singer Aaliyah. A male accuser has additionally stated Kelly sexually abused him.
A number of accusers, together with Religion, and former staff have testified that Kelly demanded strict obedience to his guidelines whilst he preyed on ladies and ladies, together with aspiring singers who hoped he might advance their very own music careers.
Different testimony for the prosecution got here from Religion’s mom, and from the minister who oversaw Kelly’s 1994 marriage ceremony to Aaliyah, when Kelly was 27 and Aaliyah was 15. The wedding was annulled after six months.
Coronavirus protocols have required the press and public to observe the trial in overflow courtrooms with video feeds.
Earlier than Wednesday’s testimony, Assistant U.S. Lawyer Nadia Shihata stated adverse feedback had been made on Tuesday in an overflow courtroom, with one particular person calling a witness a “silly bitch.”
Kelly’s legal professionals declined to remark when requested if it wished to reply.
Many sexual abuse accusations in opposition to Kelly have been mentioned within the 2019 Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly.” Kelly additionally faces sex-related fees in Illinois and Minnesota.
(Reporting by Tyler Clifford in New York; Modifying by Howard Goller)