Final arguments are underway during R Kelly’s abuse trial in New York City, after the singer decided not to testify in court.
Disclaimer: This article contains references to allegations of sexual assault and abuse.
Kelly vehemently denies racketeering and other charges accusing her of sexually assaulting women, girls and boys during her 30-year career.
The defense called only a handful of witnesses over two days, against dozens called by the prosecution in the weeks preceding the trial.
Kelly, 54, said in the record he would not testify at his own trial, as is his right, which would have put him on the witness stand and available for cross-examination by lawyers .
The prosecution, led by deputy U.S. lawyer Elizabeth Geddes, said in closing that the government had proven Kelly told those around her to target, prepare and exploit girls, boys and young women for her own sexual satisfaction.
Six weeks of testimony from more than 45 witnesses and other evidence “showed that he did just that,” she said.
Ms Geddes added that Kelly leads his facilitators with an iron fist, which means he could get away with sexually abusing his victims.
Speaking to the jury, she said the R&B singer’s assistants, drivers, bodyguards and other employees constituted a criminal enterprise, resulting in the federal racketeering charges against him.
“The accused made rules, a lot of them, and he demanded total obedience,” she said, adding that this meant that “for many years what happened in the world of the accused remained in the world of the accused – but no longer “.
Ms Geddes said Kelly hid her crimes “in plain sight” by brandishing her “money and her publicity”.
A lawyer for Kelly is also expected to present final argument.
On Tuesday, artist Da-Ni spoke as a defense witness and claimed he had known Kelly since 2005, saying he had followed him in the studio and at concerts, in order to “observe , to learn and to become “.
He told the court that he had never seen unlawful activity by the singer towards the alleged victims.
Other defense witnesses have made similar statements, with lawyers attempting to portray the alleged victims as fans smitten by stars whose relationship with Kelly didn’t work out.
Among the statements made by the prosecution witnesses were that he had given a Herpes of a 17 year old girl “on purpose”, and that he sexually assaulted a teenager after asking him what he was ready to do to enter the music industry.
Kelly was also charged in court with marrying singer Aaliyah when she was only 15, with allegations that a former manager obtained fake ID to organize the wedding.
The trial continues.