The R.Kelly trial verdict is in and soul singer Robert Kelly has been acquitted of child pornography charges. There were some tough times for R.Kelly during the trial including when jurors had to watch the entire sextape video in the courtroom. His former protege Sparkle testified and identified R.Kelly as the man in the infamous sextape video.
R. Kelly Trial Court Coverage
R. Kelly Court Coverage
A Cook County jury on Friday acquitted R&B superstar R. Kelly of child pornography charges, marking the end of a high-profile trial rich in courtroom drama and celebrity intrigue.
The 41-year-old singer, whose real name is Robert Kelly, long denied charges that he videotaped himself engaging in a variety of sex acts with his then-underage goddaughter.
Authorities said the female in the video could have been as young as 13 at the time. The jury of nine men and three women deliberated for 7 ½ hours before finding Kelly not guilty on all 14 counts. "R Kelly was found not guilty because they had the best jury that Cook County could produce," said Kelly's attorney Sam Adam Jr. "Two things happened today. R. Kelly got his name back and [his goddaughter] never had to lose hers," Adam said.
Prosecutors struck a somber note about a case that's lasted more than six years, using their statements to thank witnesses, profess faith in their case and acknowledge they had an uphill fight to prove it.
"As we must, we accept the verdict of the jury in this case," said Cook County State's Atty Richard Devine. "This prosecution is one we have no reservations about."
Child pornography prosecutions can be extremely difficult in many ways--one of them being that victims often don't come forward themselves, Devine said.
Even so, he said, charges "have to be brought."
Shauna Boliker, the lead prosecutor in the case, reserved her comments to thanking witnesses who came forward. "It was a difficult thing for them to do, but they did it very eloquently and courageously," she said.
In the moments before the verdict was announced, Kelly could be seen praying in the courtroom. As the verdicts rolled in, each count not guilty, Adam said he heard Kelly saying, "Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus."
On the courthouse steps outside, Ieshi Agee, 25, stood with her three young boys to await the verdict. They cheered as Kelly walked out.
"I knew he wasn't guilty!" Agee screamed.
Kelly left the courtroom surrounded by his entourage, who kept reporters away from the singer and escorted him to a waiting sport-utility vehicle as some 50 supporters shouted support to him. source