R. Kelly’s trial on child pornography and obstruction of justice charges begins today.
Jury selection starts in the Chicago trial that stems from the 2008 case in which the singer/producer was acquitted. In 2002, Kelly faced 21 counts of making child sexual abuse videos, some of which found their way to the “bootleg” circuit, in which unauthorized and mostly untraceable videos were copied and shared. Police and the FBI verified the authenticity of one particular recording, but a jury in 2008 could not prove that the person in the recording was indeed a minor and Kelly was set free.
According to the New York Times, Federal prosecutors now allege Kelly and two co-defendants fixed that state trial, saying Kelly arranged for a girl and her parents to travel overseas to prevent them from talking with police prior to his indictment and later instructed them to lie to a grand jury about the case. The girl, who is now in her 30s and whose name has not been made public, will reportedly testify.
The trial is expected to run approximately four weeks.
In June, Kelly was sentenced in New York to 30 years in prison for racketeering and sex trafficking in that state.
Kelly has maintained his innocence in both the New York and Chicago cases.