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article imageR&B Circus II: Child Pornography Trial Puts Most Controversial Witness On Stand

By Nikki Weingartner     May 28, 2008 in Entertainment
We've heard R. Kelly's soft sultry voice in the duet with Celine Dion singing "I'm Your Angel," but that voice will be silent during today's testimony as the case's most controversial witness takes the stand.
As Grammy award winning R. Kelly's, also known as Robert Sylvester Kelly, trial unfolds since opening statements last week, today's testimony is expected to heat up the seats in the courtroom. The young woman is expected to testify today about her menage a trois with the R&B superstar and the "alleged" victim. She will also be expected to identify the alleged victim on the child porn sex tape that got this "thing started".
Defense attorneys tried to have her removed from the witness list, but a judge allowed her testimony.
Joel Rhea, an assistant principal at Havlicek Elementary, testified under oath today that, after viewing the sex tape, he identified the girl on the tape as a student he had seen during his coaching days who would have been around 14 or 15 at the time:
[Rhea]testified Wednesday that he never forgets a forehead.
Rhea, who was formerly a teacher and girls basketball coach at Percy Julian Middle School in Oak Park, told the court that he met the alleged victim in the fall of 1997 when she was a player on an opposing team. The teams would play each other three or four times a season. Rhea said he would also see her at social events because she was best friends with one of his players.
So when he saw the sex tape he said he knew it was her and that she was 14 or 15 at the time. Sure, he said he recognized her facial features, her smile. But the forehead was dead-on.
Earlier, testimony by Lindsey Perryman, an on again/off again assistant for Kelly identified both Kelly and the victim as those in the sex tape. Perryman was responsible for driving the alleged victim from school to Kelly's studio and even to her mother's office.
Defense attorneys tried to prevent Perryman from reviewing the tape and identifying the individuals in the tape, but a judge denied their motion.
During opening testimony, the defense rely heavily on a mole on Kelly's back, claiming that it will prove his innocence. He has plead Not Guilty to the charges of child pornography.
The alleged victim, now 23-years-old, will not testify on behalf of the state and her parents have denied their daughter had any involvement in the video to a grand jury.
As the trial plays out, it will be interesting to see if the ongoing charges will stick. Kelly faces 15 years in prison if convicted. As this case seems to continue on and on, like the perpetual skipping of a scratched CD, does the evidence seem to stack up against him or is this a case of mistaken identity?
The links provide a great step by step update in the case of R. Kelly.
[UPDATE] May 28, 2008: According to the linked source above, the trial ended abruptly today and the "star witness" was not allowed to testify due to a new witness who contacted the defense, apparently this morning, and claimed he had information about the prosecution's witness.
The judge was baffled by the intrusion but said that it may mean that the witness could be deemed not credible. Regardless, this delays her testimony until a later date.
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