R Kelly ‘sexually abused virgin fan, 16, he first met at his child porn trial’

Georgann Dolfay

Table of Contents THE CHARGES R. KELLY IS ON TRIAL FOR IN NEW YORK:Judge throws out defense’s final bid to dismiss the case after they argued herpes is not life-threatening so he shouldn’t be charged with passing it to a minor R. Kelly ‘sexually abused an underage boy he met in […]

R. Kelly allegedly lured a 16-year-old fan to his mansion and told her he was happy she was a virgin after meeting her when she attended his 2008 child porn trial, a court hard.

The prosecution and defense both gave opening statements Wednesday, kicking off Kelly’s trial on racketeering and sex trafficking charges relating to six women and underage girls and dating back almost three decades.

Jerhonda Pace, one of six women in the federal indictment, took the stand in Brooklyn’s Federal District Court Wednesday to testify against her alleged abuser. 

Pace testified that she first met Kelly when she was just 14-years-old when she attended every day of his 2008 child pornography trial, in which he was found not guilty due to lack of sufficient evidence. 

When Pace was 16 she said she went to a party and met up with Kelly, claiming she was 19-years-old. 

She said Kelly remembered her from court and invited her back to his mansion a few days later where he told her to put on her swimsuit while he sat on a lounge chair and for her to walk back and forth while removing her swimsuit.

She said the two then began kissing and he performed oral sex on her but she ‘felt uncomfortable’ lying about her age, so she told him she was actually 16 and showed him her state ID as proof, and Kelly asked  ‘What is that supposed to mean?’ Buzzfeed News reported. 

Pace said Kelly told her to keep saying she was 19 and ‘act 21’ and that he ‘was going to train me on how to please him sexually.’

When she told him she was a virgin, she said Kelly responded ‘that’s good’ and told her to lie about her age to other people. 

Pace said she continued to see and have sex with Kelly over the next several months and that Kelly would often film their encounters.

He also allegedly made Pace follow a strict set of rules, including making her wear baggy clothes, having her call him ‘Daddy,’ and forbidding her from eating food or using the bathroom without his permission, Buzzfeed reported. 

Pace said she was forced to sign a nondisclosure agreement, and a letter full of false admissions that claimed she had stolen money and jewelry from him, which prosecutors allege was a form of blackmail by Kelly.

Pace said she normally abided by Kelly’s rules, but when she didn’t he would be punished.  

She testified about an incident when she said she preferred the Cleveland Cavaliers to Kelly’s favorite team, the Chicago Bulls and he allegedly backhanded her across the face and told her she was being disrespectful.

In another instance, Pace said Kelly wanted her to use a sex toy on him while they had sex, and she hesitated, telling him she was ‘taught that was gay,’ and he slapped her in the face, telling her ‘I’m not f**king gay,’ before making her give him oral sex while using the sex toy on him.

On the final day she spent in Kelly’s house in 2010, Pace said she was distracted and didn’t immediately acknowledge Kelly’s presence when he entered and Kelly slapped her and choked her out until she passed out. ‘

After that he spat in her face and told her to put her head down in shame before making her perform oral sex on him.

Pace said Kelly ejaculated on her face and she wiped Kelly’s spit and semen on a blue T-shirt that was presented in court Wednesday as evidence. 

Pace said after that incident she made up an excuse to leave the mansion and never returned.  

Prosecutors described the 54-year-old as a ‘predator’ who used his fame to lure in children and young women as part of a criminal enterprise where he sexually exploited his victims and trafficked them across state lines. 

Pace said Kelly ejaculated on her face and she wiped Kelly’s spit and semen on a blue T-shirt that was presented in court Wednesday as evidence

However, Kelly’s attorney instead claimed that Kelly was the victim of ‘fans’ who wanted the ‘notoriety of being with a superstar’ and had enjoyed ‘beautiful’, consensual relationships with him and were now turning on him. 

His defense sought to discredit the accusers telling jurors they will be faced with ‘a mess of lies’ and that ‘their testimony will crumble’ when they take the stand.  

This came after Judge Ann Donnelly threw out the defense’s final last-ditch attempt to dismiss the case but allowed them to bring a printer into the courtroom to help them manage the 3,500 pieces of evidence expected to be presented at the trial. 

Kelly is standing trial accused of being the ringleader of an underage sex ring spanning two decades where women allegedly had to call him ‘Daddy’ and had to ask his permission to use the bathroom.

He is charged with racketeering, sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping, bribery, sex trafficking and forced labor between 1994 and 2018 relating to six alleged victims.    

Six women and girls are cited in the nine-count indictment – with at least three of them underage and all aged between 15 and 22 at the time of the alleged crimes. 

At least two of the alleged victims have accused Kelly of having unprotected sex with them without revealing he had herpes. 

He is also accused of bribing an Illinois official in 1994 to obtain fake ID for the singer Aaliyah so they could marry when she was just 15 and he was 27.

Kelly denies all the charges but faces up to life in prison if convicted on all counts.  

Kelly (pictured in a court sketch Wednesday) is accused of being the ringleader of an underage sex ring involving women, underage boys and girls going back more than two decades

‘Predator’ R Kelly sexually abused an underage boy he met in McDonalds after promising to help his career, prosecutors alleged in documents as the R&B singer’s sex abuse trial got under way. Kelly in an artist’s sketch in curt Wednesday 

R. Kelly pictured performing in 2013 at the BET Awards. The star's long-awaited sex abuse trial began in Brooklyn Wednesday

Jerhonda Pace took the stand in Brooklyn's Federal District Court Wednesday to testify against her alleged abuser

R. Kelly (left on stage in 2013) allegedly lured a 16-year-old fan to his mansion and told her he was happy she was a virgin because he wanted to ‘train her’ sexually, jurors heard on the first day of the disgraced R&B star’s federal trial. Jerhonda Pace (right) took the stand in Brooklyn’s Federal District Court Wednesday to testify against her alleged abuser

As the trial got underway Wednesday:

  • One alleged victim named ‘Sonja’ is expected to testify that the singer locked her in a room for three days and sexually abused her while she was unconscious 
  • The judge denied the defense’s final bid to dismiss the case, where they had argued herpes is not life-threatening so Kelly shouldn’t be charged with passing the STD to a minor 
  • The judge also granted prosecutors permission to include evidence they claim shows sexual abuse by the star back in 1991 and which relates to the charges over his marriage to Aaliyah 
  • Joycelyn Savage’s mother arrived at the courthouse to hear the opening statements, telling reporters she was ‘grateful’ Kelly was finally facing trial after ‘almost two decades’
  • Prosecutors claimed in documents ahead of the trial that R. Kelly sexually abused an underage boy he met in McDonalds after promising to help his music career 

The 54-year-old sat in the courtroom in a gray suit, purple tie, and glasses with his head down at times as the prosecution described an alleged pattern of violent abuse. 

In opening statements, Assistant US Attorney Maria Cruz Melendez told the jury Kelly used ‘every trick in the predator handbook’ to groom his victims, blackmailed them with sex tapes and violently beat them if they failed to comply with his demands.  

The trial is not about celebrity parties but is ‘about a predator’ who used his fame to entice girls, boys and young women before dominating and controlling them physically, sexually and psychologically, she said. 

‘This case is not about a celebrity who likes to party a lot,’ she said. 

‘This case is about a predator.’  

Melendez said Kelly had his ‘pick of young fans’ who he ‘dominated and controlled’ and treated like ‘objects.’ 

The prosecutor said Kelly lured in children and women by inviting them to join him after shows with backstage passes.

Once he had them alone, Melendez said, Kelly ‘dominated and controlled them physically, sexually and psychologically.’

The singer also often recorded his sex acts with minors as he controlled a racketeering enterprise of individuals who were loyal and devoted to him, eager to ‘fulfill each and everyone one of the defendant’s wishes and demands,’ she said.  

Kelly then used these recordings as ‘collateral’ and as a way to blackmail his victims by threatening to release the tapes, she told jurors. 

‘He made them create embarrassing videos and false letters. He kept it in his back pocket in case anyone tried to accuse him of anything,’ she said.

Any of his victims who didn’t meet his demands was subjected to ‘exacted cruel and demeaning punishments’ such as ‘violent spankings and beatings,’ the prosecutor said. 

Family members of Jocelyn Savage (left) speak to reporters outside Brooklyn Federal court before the start of opening statements

Family members of Jocelyn Savage (left) speak to reporters outside Brooklyn Federal court before the start of opening statements

A man carries a suit for R. Kelly to wear at his trial after he had complained to the judge earlier this month that he had put on so much weight in prison that he had nothing to wear at trial

A man carries a suit for R. Kelly to wear at his trial after he had complained to the judge earlier this month that he had put on so much weight in prison that he had nothing to wear at trial

THE CHARGES R. KELLY IS ON TRIAL FOR IN NEW YORK:

R. Kelly is standing trial in Brooklyn federal court accused of being the ringleader of a sex ring involving women and underage girls and boys.    

The charges were first brought in a five-count superseding indictment in Brooklyn federal court in July 2019. 

In March 2020, he was slapped with additional charges upgrading the case to a nine-count indictment. 

The charges relate to allegations involving six alleged victims – five women named as Jane Does in the indictment and the singer Aaliyah. These charges are:

ONE COUNT OF RACKETEERING

The racketeering charge includes 14 underlying acts including: one act of bribery, three acts of sexual exploitation of a child, one act of kidnapping, three acts of forced labor and six acts of violating the Mann Act. 

Racketeering charges are used where there is an ‘enterprise’, mob or mafia running organized crime operations. 

In this case, Kelly is accused of running a racketeering ‘enterprise’ for two decades made up of his ‘inner circle’ of managers, bodyguards and other employees who would help him recruit women, girls and boys for him to sexually exploit and traffic them around the US. 

To convict Kelly on the racketeering charge, he must be found guilty of at least two of the 14 acts.

EIGHT COUNTS OF VIOLATING THE MANN ACT 

The Mann Act is a federal law that makes it illegal to traffic people across state lines for prostitution or illegal sexual activity. 

Four of these charges relate to an incident involving Jane Doe #5 in 2015 while the other four involve Jane Doe #6 in separate incidents in May 2017 and February 2018. 

Three of these charges involve Kelly allegedly exposing the two women to herpes without informing them.  

‘What his success and popularity brought him was access, access to girls, boys and young women,’ she said.  

The prosecution said four of the five surviving accusers in the indictment – who will be identified in the courtroom as Stephanie, Sonja, Jerhonda, Zel and Faith – will testify at the trial.  

Melendez explained the evidence that would be presented at the federal trial, telling jurors they would hear from one woman named Sonja who will testify that Kelly locked her in a room for three days and sexually abused her while she was unconscious. 

The alleged incident took place at Kelly’s Chicago studio when the 22-year-old went to interview the R&B star for a radio station where she worked.  

Kelly’s attorney Nicole Blank Becker instead painted the singer as the victim as she delivered the defense’s opening statement after Melendez completed hers. 

Becker claimed Kelly’s alleged victims were ‘fans’ who ‘came to’ the star willingly because they enjoyed the ‘notoriety of being able to tell their friends that they were with a superstar.’

‘He didn’t recruit them. They were fans. They came to Mr. Kelly,’ she said.

‘They knew exactly what they were getting into. It was no secret Mr. Kelly had multiple girlfriends. He was quite transparent.’ 

It would be a stretch to believe he orchestrated an elaborate criminal enterprise, like a mob boss, the lawyer said.

Instead, she insisted the relationships were consensual.  

‘They’re going to tell you Mr. Kelly is this monster. You’re also going to hear that some of these relationships were beautiful,’ said Becker.  

Becker accused the alleged victims of lying, warning jurors they’ll have to sort through ‘a mess of lies’ from women with an agenda.

‘We believe their testimony will crumble,’ Becker told jurors. 

‘There will be so many untruths told to you, ladies and gentlemen, that even the government won’t be able to untangle the mess of lies.’ 

‘Don’t assume everybody’s telling the truth,’ she added.  

The mother of one of Kelly’s alleged victims told reporters outside the courthouse that she was ‘grateful’ that he was finally facing trial after ‘almost two decades.’ 

‘Now finally, after almost two decades, people are finally speaking up and I’m humbly grateful for that,’ said Jonjelyn Savage, mother of Joycelyn Savage.

She added that she hoped that hearing the opening statements about her daughter’s alleged abuser would help bring ‘some relief for us and some type of closure.’

Jocelyn was a live-in girlfriend of Kelly when he was arrested in 2019. 

She previously denied being a victim of the singer and defended him in an interview with Gayle King. 

However, Savage’s family have accused Kelly and his team of holding her against her will and have pleaded for them to release her.  

Gloria Allred, who is representing some of the accusers, was also seen arriving at the courthouse Wednesday, while some fans of the disgraced R&B star also gathered in a show of support. 

A man was seen carrying a suit for Kelly into the courthouse after he had complained to the judge earlier this month that he had put on so much weight in prison that he had nothing to wear at trial. 

An anonymous jury of seven men and five women were sworn in last week for the trial, which is expected to last around a month.  

Prosecutors in Brooklyn have lined up multiple female accusers – mostly referred to in court as ‘Jane Does’ – and cooperating former associates who have never spoken publicly before about their experiences with Kelly.

They’re expected to offer testimony about how Kelly’s managers, bodyguards and other employees helped him recruit women and girls – and sometimes boys – for sexual exploitation. 

R. Kelly pictured in September 2019 in court in Chicago. Prosecutors said Wednesday the singer is a 'predator'

R. Kelly pictured in September 2019 in court in Chicago. Prosecutors said Wednesday the singer is a ‘predator’

They say the group selected victims at concerts and other venues and arranged for them to travel to see Kelly in the New York City area and elsewhere, in violation of the Mann Act, the 1910 law that made it illegal to ‘transport any woman or girl’ across state lines ‘for any immoral purpose.’

When the women and girls arrived at their lodgings, a member of Kelly’s entourage would set down rules about not speaking to each other, how they should dress and how they needed permission from Kelly before eating or going to the bathroom, prosecutors say. 

Also, they were allegedly required to call him ‘Daddy.’

Defense lawyers have countered by saying Kelly’s alleged victims were groupies who turned up at his shows and made it known they ‘were dying to be with him.’ 

The women only started accusing him of abuse years later when public sentiment shifted against him, they said.  

The high-profile trial has been years in the making as the star has faced accusations of sex abuse for years.

He was arrested on the federal charges filed in New York in 2019 and has been behind bars for almost two years awaiting trial.   

The trial comes more than a decade after Kelly was acquitted in a 2008 child pornography case in Chicago. 

It was a reprieve that allowed his music career to continue until the #MeToo era caught up with him, emboldening alleged victims to come forward.

The women’s stories got wide exposure in the Lifetime documentary ‘Surviving R. Kelly.’

The series explored how an entourage of supporters protected Kelly and silenced his victims for decades, foreshadowing a federal racketeering conspiracy case that landed Kelly in jail in 2019.

Two of the women at the center of the trial spoke out in the series with their accusations.  

Kelly is perhaps best known for his smash hit ‘I Believe I Can Fly,’ a 1996 song that became an inspirational anthem played at school graduations, weddings, advertisements and elsewhere. 

The trial, coming after several delays due mostly to the pandemic, will unfold under coronavirus precautions restricting the press and the public to overflow courtrooms with video feeds. 

If convicted, Kelly could face life in prison. 

Even if he is found not guilty, Kelly’s legal woes are far from over as he faces separate trials on sex-related charges in Illinois and Minnesota.  

Judge throws out defense’s final bid to dismiss the case after they argued herpes is not life-threatening so he shouldn’t be charged with passing it to a minor 

Before the opening arguments got underway Wednesday, the judge denied the defense’s final bid to dismiss the case, where they had argued herpes is not life-threatening so Kelly shouldn’t be charged with passing it to a minor.

Kelly allegedly had unprotected sex with one of his alleged victims when she was underage and when he knew he had herpes but did not tell her. 

The accuser contracted the sexually transmitted disease from him in 2015, prosecutors claim. 

Kelly’s legal team filed a memo Monday night replying to the federal government’s opposition to their request that the charges be dropped.

In the memo, they specifically argued the herpes exposure charge should be dropped because herpes is a virus and not ‘an acute, bacterial venereal disease such as syphilis or gonorrhea.’

They argued that if case law indicates that HIV transmission is no longer criminally liable because it ‘no longer poses a grave risk of death’, then herpes should also not be criminally liable. 

The defense also said the New York State Department of Health ‘is not aware of any instance of an individual being charged with a misdemeanor’ for spreading herpes. 

Kelly’s defense also argued that racketeering charges should be dismissed because they said they fell outside the five-year statute of limitations.  

The judge denied the request to dismiss the case early Wednesday.

She also ruled on other motions, including granting prosecutors permission to include evidence they claim shows sexual abuse by the star back in 1991 and which relates to the charges over his marriage to Aaliyah. 

Gloria Allred arrives at the trial of R Kelly at Brooklyn's federal court in New York Tuesday

Lawyers for R. Kelly are seen arriving for the opening day of the star's sex abuse trial

Gloria Allred arrives at the trial of R Kelly at Brooklyn’s federal court in New York Tuesday (left). Lawyers for R. Kelly are seen arriving for the opening day of the star’s sex abuse trial (right)

R. Kelly ‘sexually abused an underage boy he met in McDonalds after promising to help his music career’, prosecutors reveal in documents  

R. Kelly sexually abused an underage boy he met in McDonalds after promising to help his career, prosecutors alleged in documents released ahead of his trial.  

Prosecutors claim the singer, now 54, met a 17-year-old boy in a Chicago fast food joint in December 2006 and invited him to a party. 

When the teen – identified only as John Doe #1 – brought his parents to the party, Kelly told him to come alone next time and invited him to his music studio on the promise of helping him with his music career, prosecutors allege.

The singer allegedly asked the boy ‘what he was willing to do to succeed in the music business’, propositioned him and sexually abused him while he was under the age of consent.   

The boy also introduced Kelly to a male friend who was also 16 or 17 at the time, prosecutors allege. 

Kelly allegedly went on to have a sexual relationship with this second boy years later.  

Timeline of R. Kelly’s downfall from R&B superstar to ‘sexual predator’ 

August 1994: At age 27, R. Kelly marries 15-year-old R&B singer Aaliyah D. Haughton. The couple weds in a secret ceremony arranged by Kelly at a hotel in Chicago. The marriage is annulled months later because of Aaliyah’s age. Aaliyah dies in a plane crash seven years later at age 22. 

February 1997: Tiffany Hawkins files a complaint against Kelly alleging intentional sexual battery and sexual harassment while she was a minor. The lawsuit is reportedly settled for $250,000 the following January. 

August 2001: Tracy Sampson files a lawsuit against Kelly, alleging their sex was illegal under Illinois law because he was in ‘a position of authority’ over her. The case was reportedly settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

February 2002: The Chicago Sun-Times reported that it received a videotape allegedly showing Kelly having sex with a minor. The paper reported Chicago police began investigating allegations about Kelly and the same girl three years earlier. At the time, the girl and her parents denies she was having sex with Kelly.

June 2002: Kelly is indicted in Chicago on child pornography charges stemming from the sex tape. He pleads not guilty and is released on $750,000 bail.

January 2003: Kelly is arrested at a Florida hotel on additional child pornography charges after investigators said they found photos of him having sex with a girl. Charges are later dropped after the judge ruled police didn´t have a warrant to search Kelly´s house.

September 2005: Kelly’s wife Andrea Kelly asks for an order of protection from her husband, accusing the singer of hitting her when she said she wanted a divorce. The couple confirm they have divorced in 2009. 

February 2006: Kelly’s brother, Carey Kelly, says his brother offered him $50,000 and a record deal to say he was the person on the sex video.

May 2008: Kelly’s child pornography trial begins. He is acquitted on all counts the next month after less than a full day of deliberations.

July 2017: BuzzFeed reports on parents’ claims that Kelly brainwashed their daughters and was keeping them in an abusive ‘cult.’ One woman says she was with Kelly willingly. Following the BuzzFeed report, activists launched the #MuteRKelly movement, calling for boycotts of his music.

April 2018: The Time’s Up campaign, devoted to helping women in the aftermath of sexual abuse, joins the #MuteRKelly social media campaign and pushes for further investigation into Kelly’s behavior, which had come under closer scrutiny over the previous year as women came forward accusing him of sexual coercion and physical abuse. Kelly´s camp responds: ‘We will vigorously resist this attempted public lynching of a black man who has made extraordinary contributions to our culture.’

May 2018: Spotify cuts R. Kelly’s music from its playlists, citing its policy on hate content and hateful conduct. Shortly after, Apple and Pandora also stop promoting his music. Kelly’s team pushes back, noting other artists on Spotify had been accused or convicted of crimes. 

The same month Faith Rodgers, 20, files a lawsuit accusing R. Kelly of sexual battery, mental and verbal abuse, and knowingly inflicting her with herpes during a yearlong relationship.

January 2019: Lifetime airs the documentary ‘Surviving R. Kelly,’ which revisited old allegations against him and brought new ones into the spotlight. The series followed the BBC’s ‘R Kelly: Sex, Girls & Videotapes,’ released the previous year, that alleged the singer was holding women against their will.

Lady Gaga apologizes for her 2013 duet with Kelly, saying she intended to remove the song, ‘Do What U Want (With My Body),’ from streaming services.

Faith Rogers says Kelly had written a letter the previous October to one of her lawyers, threatening to reveal embarrassing details of her sexual history if she didn’t drop her May 2018 lawsuit accusing him of sexual abuse.

Multiple media outlets reports Kelly and his label, Sony subsidiary RCA Records, part ways. Lady Gaga and Celine Dion remove their duets with Kelly from streaming services, and French rock band Phoenix apologizes for collaborating with Kelly in 2013. Kelly continues to deny all allegations of sexual misconduct.

February 2019: Attorney Michael Avenatti says he gave Chicago prosecutors new video evidence of Kelly having sex with an underage girl, and that it is not the same evidence used in Kelly’s 2008 trial.

Kelly is arrested and charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse. Kelly’s attorney enters not guilty pleas on the singer’s behalf. Hours later, Kelly posts bail and is released from jail in Chicago.

March 2019: CBS airs interview in which Kelly vehemently denied the sexual abuse charges against him. Later, authorities in Cook County take Kelly into custody after he tells a judge he couldn´t pay $161,000 in back child support he owed his children’s mother.

May 2019: Kelly is charged with 11 new sex-related counts in Chicago. They involve one of the women who accused him of sexually abusing her when she was underage.

July 2019: Kelly is indicted by a federal grand jury in Chicago on charges including child pornography, enticement of a minor and obstruction of justice. A separate indictment filed in the Eastern District of New York included charges of racketeering, kidnapping, forced labor and the sexual exploitation of a child. He is again arrested in Chicago.

A federal judge orders Kelly held in jail without bond after a prosecutor warned he would pose an extreme danger to young girls if set free.

August 2019: Kelly pleads not guilty to federal charges accusing him of sexually abusing women and girls who attended his concerts, as his lawyers continue to label the alleged victims disgruntled ‘groupies.’

Kelly is charged in Minnesota with prostitution and solicitation related to an allegation that he invited a 17-year-old girl to his hotel room in 2001 and paid her $200 to dance naked with him.

October 2019: Kelly is denied bail in his New York City sex abuse case after a judge agreed with prosecutors that freeing him from jail would create a risk of him fleeing or tampering with witnesses.

December 2019: Kelly is charged by federal prosecutors with paying a bribe in exchange for a ‘fraudulent identification document’ for an unidentified female a day before he married R&B singer Aaliyah. He later pleads not guilty.

March 2020: Kelly pleads not guilty in Chicago to an updated federal indictment that included child pornography charges and allegations involving a new accuser, while prosecutors say more charges alleging yet another victim were upcoming.

August 2020: Federal prosecutors announce charges against three men accused of threatening and intimidating women who have accused R&B singer Kelly of abuse, including one man suspected of setting fire to a vehicle in Florida.

Kelly’s manager is arrested in California on charges that he threatened a shooting at a Manhattan theater two years ago, forcing an evacuation and the cancellation of the screening of a documentary addressing allegations that the singer had sexually abused women and girls.

July 2021: Federal prosecutors in Kelly´s sex trafficking case say he had sexual contact with an underage boy in addition to girls, and the government wants jurors in his upcoming trial to hear those claims.

August 2021: Kelly’s long-anticipated federal trial begins in New York with opening statements on August 18.  

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