R. Kelly sex trafficking trial kicks off with jury selection in Brooklyn
R. Kelly says he’s broke days before jury selection begins in sex trafficking trial
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R. Kelly appears in Brooklyn court for first time ahead of trial
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The long-anticipated sex trafficking trial for disgraced R&B superstar R. Kelly kicked off in Brooklyn on Monday as a federal judge questioned potential jurors for the case.
Judge Ann Donnelly quizzed prospective jurors on whether they could be impartial while evidence is presented for and against the former pop star, who is accused of sexually abusing women and girls for decades.
Kelly, 54, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, was arrested in Chicago in 2019 and has remained locked up in federal jail in the Windy City and later in Brooklyn since his bust.
His trial has been delayed a number of times as the former singer made changes to his legal team. Opening statements are scheduled to begin at the Downtown Brooklyn courthouse on Aug. 18.
Kelly is accused of leading a team of his employees — including managers and security guards — to recruit women and girls to have sex with him. In some cases, the alleged victims traveled from separate states to be with Kelly, prosecutors charged.
The alleged perv is also accused of conspiring with others to create a fake ID for the late singer Aaliyah, whom Kelly allegedly abused while she was underage, according to prosecutors.
Kelly planned to marry the singer — who later died in a plane crash at the age of 22 — so she could not testify against him, according to the charges.
The singer has pleaded not guilty and argued that the alleged victims he slept with were actually groupies and willing participants in their relationships.
He also faces state sex-crime charges in Minnesota and Illinois.
Last week, Kelly’s attorneys told the judge the disgraced, Grammy-winning singer had gained so much weight in jail that he needs new clothes. The accused perv is also so broke that he can’t afford his court transcripts, his lawyers said.
With Post wires
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