R. Kelly’s alleged victim, his former goddaughter, testified in a Chicago courtroom as part of his federal trial on Thursday (August 18).
The woman — only identified as “Jane” — claimed she had sex with the singer “hundreds of time” beginning at 15 years old, explaining she was “too intimidated” to say no. She later told the jury she asked him to be her godfather when she was just 13 but by 14, he was touching her inappropriately. Their sexual relationship continued until she was 18 while Kelly was nearly twice her age.
When asked why she continued to have a sexual relationship with Kelly, she told the jury she look at him as “figure of authority” and didn’t know how to respond or say “no.” It eventually became normalized.
Jane added Kelly routinely had sex with other teenage girls he had her recruit, some of which were recorded. She and her parents denied she had an inappropriate relationship with Kelly for years. Consequently, she wasn’t called to testify at his 2008 trial, even though prosecutors believed she was the girl in the video at the center of the case.
R. Kelly’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, believes there wouldn’t be a trial without the “mob justice climate” in the United States. According to Buzzfeed, Bonjean made the remark during opening statements on Wednesday (August 17) as she questioned why the government waited “over two decades” to bring charges against the singer.
Kelly faces charges he sexually abused five minors in the late 1990s and created multiple explicit videos with four of them. The charges also include producing and receiving child pornography, enticing minors to engage in criminal sexual activity and obstruction charges.
He was already convicted of racketeering and sex trafficking charges at a Brooklyn federal trial in September and sentenced to 30 years in prison.