R Kelly trial: Day Six

First day of testimony is complete in Chicago

The tape at the centre of the R Kelly child pornography case was shown to the court today, marking day one of testimony in the long-pending case.

The defense is arguing that the man in the video is not R Kelly, and that the child is a prostitute. Kelly’s attorney Sam Adam Jr asked the jury to pay attention while watching the video, to an area on the man’s lower back. Adam then showed pictures of Kelly’s back, which bears a large mole. The mole was apparently not visible on the tape.

Showing almost 50 pictures of Kelly’s various scars and birthmarks to the court, Adam also told the jury that even the FBI would not determine that it is Kelly on the tape, such is the poor quality.

While watching the tape, Kelly shook his head and whispered to his legal team.

The tape was handed over to police in February 2002 by a Chicago Sun-Times journalist. It is thought to be a fifth or sixth generation copy of the original, hence the quality.

Former Chicago police investigator Dan Everett today testified that he had interviewed the girl in the tape in December 2000, and that in grand jury appearances in 2002 she and her parents denied she is the girl in the tape. However, other family members and classmates said she is.

Meanwhile, a female juror was removed from the jury today after she told the court she would not be paid by her employer during jury duty, and was worried about making mortgage payments.

She was replaced by one of the four alternates selected last week.

–By our New York staff.

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