Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Prosecutor calls R. Kelly a 'predator' at R&B singer's sex abuse trial

 R. Kelly is a "predator" who demanded absolute fealty from the many women and underage girls he recruited for sex in a two-decade racketeering scheme, a federal prosecutor said on Wednesday as the R&B superstar's sex abuse trial began.


Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Melendez told a jury of seven men and five women in Brooklyn federal court that Kelly used "lies, manipulation, threats and physical abuse" to dominate his victims, and often filmed their sexual encounters.

Melendez said Kelly, 54, would require victims to get his permission before doing virtually anything, including going to the bathroom, and blackmail them by threatening to release self-incriminating letters he forced them to write if they fled.

Prosecutors will argue that Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, used an entourage of managers, bodyguards and others to recruit women and girls, sometimes at concerts, for him to abuse.

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