A woman accusing R&B singer R Kelly of abuse told a court that he used to tape her sexual encounters and sometimes order her to “dress like a girl scout.”
Jerhonda Pace, who was the first accuser to begin testifying during the opening of the trial in New York, returned to continue her testimony Thursday, after previously telling the jury. the star knew she was 16 years old and a virgin when she first came to her home in 2010, when I was 40 years old.
She said Kelly, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, required her to wear pigtails and “dress like a girl scout” on occasion during sexual encounters, which she often videotaped.
The singer flatly denies the allegations of wrongdoing. During questioning, one of her defense attorneys, Deveraux Cannick, suggested that Ms. Pace had mistaken the dates for when she was involved with him and that it was she who deceived the star, lying about herself.
“You were actually stalking him, right?” Mr. Cannick asked. “That’s not right,” Ms. Pace replied.
Jurors were shown screenshots of the woman’s phone showing various communications with Kelly made in January 2010, including a text message from her that read, “Please call.” There was also a photo of her with “Rob” tattooed on her chest, which she claimed to have since covered “with a black heart.”
While some of the accusers will not be identified in the media, and are identified as “Jane Does” in court, Ms. Pace, now 28, was one of the women who appeared in the documentary series of 2019 Surviving R Kelly and has spoken publicly against the singer.
During his time at Kelly’s mansion, he was told to follow “Rob’s rules” and told how to dress and when he could use the bathroom, he told the court earlier. He also told him to tell people he was 19 years old “and to act like he was 21,” he said.
This is the second day of Kelly’s trial, both with the prosecution and defense giving their opening statements on Wednesday.
Assistant US Attorney María Cruz Meléndez told the court that the case was about a “predator” who used his fame to gain “access to girls, boys and young women,” while defense attorney Nicole Blank Becker argued that her accusers had They had been “indulging” and enjoyed the “notoriety of being able to tell their friends they were with a superstar.”
Kelly’s legal team argues that his accusers are “disgruntled groupies” who were “dying to be with him” and knew he had more than one girlfriend. They only began to accuse him of abuse years later when public sentiment changed in the #MeToo era, they argue.
Lasting approximately one month, Ms. Pace is the first witness to testify in Brooklyn Federal Court. The hearing is expected to include testimonies from several female accusers and at least one male accusator, with some accusations dating back 20 years.
Other witnesses could include former associates who cooperated with Kelly, who have never spoken publicly about their experiences before.
Despite her success in the music industry, Kelly has faced allegations of sexual abuse throughout her career. In 2008, he went to trial in Illinois on child pornography charges, but was acquitted.
The 54-year-old three-time Grammy winner, whose hits include I Believe I Can Fly, Bump ‘N’ Grind, She’s Got That Vibe and Ignition, has pleaded not guilty to extortion, sexual abuse and bribery charges, and has vigorously denied any irregularity.
The trial takes place before an anonymous jury of seven men and five women.
If convicted, he could be jailed for years. However, the New York case is only part of the legal problems the singer faces, and charges of sexual abuse have also been brought in Illinois and Minnesota, of which he has also pleaded not guilty.