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R. Kelly Will Not Testify in Ongoing Sex Trafficking Trial, Jury to Deliberate This Week

R. Kelly told a New York federal court on Wednesday that he will not testify during his ongoing trial for sex trafficking and racketeering.

According to the New York Daily News, jurors are expected to hear closing arguments on Wednesday afternoon and start deliberations this week. The defense called multiple members of Kelly’s entourage who testified that they never saw the singer commit sexual assault or abuse.

BuzzFeed News reported that many of the defense’s witnesses were discredited under cross-examination, as they admitted to having a financial stake in Kelly’s career. Others confessed to barely knowing the singer, while some contradicted key facts in his case.

The defense spent less than three days introducing witnesses — a stark comparison to the prosecution, who spent five weeks presenting their case. Forty witnesses testified against Kelly, 44, eleven of whom were his alleged victims, according to BuzzFeed.

Federal prosecutors claimed Kelly sexually abused six women and girls, four of whom were underage at the time. They also accused him of bribing an Illinois government employee in 1994 to get a fake ID for a 15-year-old Aaliyah so he could marry her in an illegal union.

Kelly, who was arrested in July 2020, is also facing 13 federal counts in Illinois for various charges, including child pornography and obstruction of justice. On the state level, Kelly is facing 21 sex-related criminal charges in Cook County, Illinois. Last August, authorities in Minnesota charged Kelly with two counts of prostitution with a person younger than 18 in connection with an alleged 2001 incident.

Kelly has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct.

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[Featured image: R. Kelly/Chicago Police Department]