R. Kelly Will Not Testify During Sex Trafficking Trial

The singer’s New York trial is set to begin closing arguments.

On Wednesday (September 22), R. Kelly told a judge that he will not take the witness stand at his New York sex trafficking trial.

According to the Associated Press, U.S. District Judge Ann Connelly asked the R&B singer about his status of testifying in his own defense.

“You don’t want to testify, correct?” Connelly said before Kelly responded: “Yes, ma’am.”

Kelly’s lawyers had already suggested that he was unlikely going to testify on his own behalf. The news comes as the singer’s legal team is expected to rest its case later Wednesday after bringing a handful of witnesses to the stand on Monday and Tuesday, clearing the way for the beginning of closing arguments.

RELATED: R. Kelly Trial: Assistant Testifies About ‘Apology Letter’ She Had To Write

The defense’s case has relied on a relatively short amount of witnesses, including former employees and associates of Kelly’s who agreed to take the stand in an attempt to discredit allegations that he sexually abused women, girls and boys during his 30-year musical career.
The defense called its final witness on Wednesday, Julius Darrington, who worked with Kelly in a production capacity for several years. He testified that Kelly was the first major artist that he had ever worked with and that he had never seen the singer abuse his girlfriends or hold them against their will. Further, he said they were dressed in “normal clothes” when he would occasionally accompany them on shopping trips with Kelly.
Most defense witnesses claimed they never saw Kelly abuse anyone, however one admitted he owed him for his break in music and wanted to see him beat the case.

By contrast, the prosecution has called dozens of witnesses since the beginning of Kelly’s New York trial on August 18. Several female and two male accusers allege Kelly used an entourage of managers, bodyguards and assistants to recruit victims at his shows, restaurants and malls for sex.

R. Kelly is currently on federal trial in Brooklyn on charges of running a criminal enterprise where employees recruited women and girls for him to abuse and sexually assault. The singer has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

With reporting from CBS News.

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