Speaking in Chicago federal court under the pseudonym Jane, the 37-year-old looked at Kelly only once during her testimony – when she was asked to identify him. Kelly kept her gaze low at the defense table the entire time she was standing on the podium.
Prosecutors showed recordings Jen witnessed that showed Kelly having sex with her. Sometimes, Jane started crying while standing on the podium.
“How old were you when the sexual acts depicted in those recordings took place?” asked Assistant US Attorney Janice Abinging.
Jane saw 14, who is expected to regain the podium on Friday.
She testified that Kelly began having sex with her when she was 14 and had sex with her since she was 15 “hundreds of times” before she was 18.
Jane is one of five underage prosecutors who allege that Kelly was sexually assaulted in the late 1990s, making explicit videos with four of them. Kelly faces charges including producing and receiving child pornography, soliciting minors to engage in criminal sexual activity and obstruction charges. He has pleaded not guilty.
Among his defendants is Deryl McDavid, a former business manager and accountant for the singer, who faces child pornography and obstruction charges. Milton “John” Brown, Kelly’s former assistant, faces one count of conspiracy to receive child pornography. McDavid and Brown pleaded their innocence.
A lawyer for Kelly asked jurors during opening statements Wednesday to examine why Jane is now applying and changing her testimony two decades ago.
“For the past 22 years, she has vehemently denied that it was her in that video. Before any criminal investigation, she denied it. She repeatedly denied it to the prosecution, and dismissed it to police officer social workers. She denied it. Under oath before a grand jury” , Jennifer Bunjian said on Wednesday.
At the witness stand on Thursday, Jane said she is testifying under immunity because she lied under oath to a grand jury in 2002 about her sexual relationship with Kelly and whether she appears in explicit videos with him.
“If you correct my mistakes by telling the truth, I will not be prosecuted,” Jane said.
“Why were you dishonest?” Abinging Jin asked at another point.
“Because I was afraid of exposing Robert. Because I was afraid of what might happen to my father,” she said. “I also didn’t want that person to be me.”
As a young teen, Jane traveled the world with a Christian hip-hop group whose members were her cousins. Prosecutors asked her not to name the group in order to protect her identity.
“I was living my dream,” Jane testified.
Her aunt, known as Sparkle, worked with R. Kelly and had a romantic relationship. It was Sparkle who introduced Jane to Kelly when Jane was 12 or 13 at a gospel concert at her church, she said. Weeks later, Kelly attended one of her group’s concerts.
Jane testified, “He was telling me how amazing I was doing.” I felt successful. I felt happy.
Soon after they met, Jen said that she started spending more time with Kelly and Sparkle. She was watching Kelly and Sparkle’s music recording and talking about basketball and music with Kelly. Jane testified that she was thirteen when Sparkle suggested Jane ask Kelly to play a bigger role in her life.
“She told me to ask him to be my godfather.” Sparkle is expected to testify later in the trial.
Jane said Kelly “laughed” and agreed to be her godfather, and within weeks, their relationship became sexual. Kelly was talking to her on the phone and asking, “What color are your underwear?” Jane testified, “About the growth of my breasts” and that I “have to wear bras.”
When Kelly became her godfather, Jane testified that her parents felt comfortable letting her stay a night or even a weekend at his house, without her parents or aunt present.
“They would pretty much drop me off and then leave,” Jane testified.
Recordings of sexual acts
Jane testified that she was 14 years old when Kelly’s sexual comments became verbs. She said Kelly started touching her breasts and vaginal area one night when they were in his recording studio. She testified that touch quickly turned into oral sex and other sexual acts, and that she lost her virginity to him when she was fifteen.
Jen spoke softly when Appenteng asked her to describe one of the actions shown in a video.
What part of your body was he urinating on? Abinging asked.
“My vagina,” Jane said softly.
Bungin and McDavid’s attorneys repeatedly objected to prosecutors acknowledging the recordings as evidence. They have questioned the authenticity of the videos and the chain of custody that has been transmitted in the 20 years since it came out. Retired Chicago Police Detective Daniel Everett, who investigated one of the tapes in 2002, testified Thursday that he did not know the location of the original VHS tape containing multiple recordings.
“I don’t know where she is today,” Everett testified.
Jane testified that after the recordings were made, she was sometimes kept in a gym bag or a paneled room in Kelly’s former home which she called the “log cabin” area. She testified that she would occasionally see Brown carrying a briefcase full of recordings.
Prosecutors did not play the recordings in court on Thursday, but warned jurors during opening statements that during the trial they would display portions of the videos that were “difficult to watch.”
Lying to the authorities
When the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services began investigating allegations that Kelly was having a sexual relationship with Jane in April 2000 when she was 15, Jane testified that she denied the affair. She also testified that she later denied to Chicago police investigators that she was my agent and had a sexual relationship.
Jane testified on Thursday that she denied having a sexual relationship with Kelly to her parents, but after reports emerged in 2002 of a tape showing the couple having sex, she said Kelly, Jane and her parents got together where Kelly admitted to them he was having an affair with their daughter.
Jane and her father received subpoenas to testify before a grand jury in 2002. Jane testified that before appearing before the grand jury, she had a conversation with Kelly about “loyalty” and “the denial of our relationship and the sex tape.”
Jane testified that she lied to a grand jury in 2002 when she denied having a sexual relationship and appeared in sex videos with the singer.
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