Breaking News
0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

R. Kelly's defense says accusers had motive to lie. 'Convict him,' prosecutor says

Sports & GeneralSep 23, 2021 06:22PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
6/6 © Reuters. Defense lawyer Devereaux Cannick presents his closing arguments in R. Kelly's sex abuse trial at Brooklyn's Federal District Court in a courtroom sketch in New York, U.S., September 23, 2021. REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg 2/6

By Tyler Clifford and Luc Cohen

NEW YORK (Reuters) - R. Kelly's accusers were motivated by money to lie about his alleged sexual abuses, a lawyer for the R&B superstar argued on Thursday in a final effort to persuade jurors not to convict Kelly of sex trafficking charges.

In his closing argument in Brooklyn federal court, Kelly's lawyer Deveraux Cannick portrayed the singer's accusers as former fans or jilted lovers hoping to cash in on his fame, whether through book contracts or media appearances such as in "Surviving R. Kelly," the 2019 Lifetime documentary.

"They're monetizing. They know what the game is. They're surviving off of R. Kelly," Cannick said, invoking the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr as he implored jurors to summon what he called the courage to acquit the 54-year-old singer.

Cannick spoke after Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Geddes finished her closing argument, which lasted about six hours spread over two days.

Geddes reviewed testimony from dozens of accusers, former employees and others against the singer, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, including that he videotaped his exploits and hid his herpes diagnosis prior to intercourse.

"It is time to hold the defendant responsible for the pain he inflicted on each of his victims," Geddes concluded, repeating the name of each accuser. "It is now time for the defendant Robert Kelly to pay for his crimes. Convict him."

Known for the 1996 Grammy-winning smash "I Believe I Can Fly," Kelly pleaded not guilty to one count of racketeering and eight counts of illegally transporting people across state lines for prostitution in a trial that began on Aug. 18.

Prosecutors have portrayed Kelly as a violent predator who used his fame and charisma and deployed people who worked for him to lure women and underage girls into his sphere.

Kelly is one of the most prominent people tried for sexual misconduct during the #MeToo movement, and has for many years denied sexual abuse accusations.

His alleged victims include the late singer Aaliyah, who died in a 2001 plane crash.

Jury deliberations may begin on Friday, after U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly instructs jurors on the law.

MIXED EMOTIONS

Wearing black glasses, Kelly had different reactions as he listened to closing arguments.

He hung his head after Geddes said one associate had copied him on a threatening email to a victim, but later leaned forward and focused intensely on Cannick as his lawyer described his accusers' testimony as "just like butter, fluid."

Cannick accused prosecutors of trying to turn everything Kelly did into a crime, when in fact he treated them "like gold" and took them on shopping sprees that cost more than cars.

He dismissed Jerhonda Pace, the first accuser to testify against Kelly, as a "groupie, stalker extraordinaire," and said Kelly's use of nondisclosure agreements was common in the entertainment industry because many people are targets.

Cannick also invoked the civil rights movement and King's 1968 assassination to try to persuade jurors to hold prosecutors accountable for failing to prove Kelly's guilt.

"I told you about Dr. King and the people of courage for a reason," Cannick said. "Getting a conviction of R. Kelly is a big deal, but a bigger deal is fairness."

He urged jurors to use their common sense. "Somebody's life is at stake here," he said.

Kelly did not testify in his own defense, which could have exposed him to days of tough questioning from prosecutors.

He faces separate criminal charges in federal court in Chicago, and state charges in Illinois and Minnesota.

R. Kelly's defense says accusers had motive to lie. 'Convict him,' prosecutor says
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email