Music News

Man testifies against R. Kelly in sex-trafficking trial

E. Jason Wambsgans-Pool/Getty Images

After several days of testimony from women claiming they were groomed and sexually abused by R. Kelly, a man took the witness stand at Kelly’s sex-trafficking trial in New York City on Monday to say the R&B star exploited him in the same way when he was a high school student.

The witness, testifying in federal court in Brooklyn without using his real name, told a jury how Kelly allegedly lured him to his Chicago-area home in 2007 with false offers of helping him with his fledgling music career.

Kelly asked the alleged victim, then 17, what he was willing to do for music, then proceeded to perform oral sex on him. 

In a later episode, Kelly snapped his fingers to summon a naked girl from where she was hiding under a boxing ring to give Kelly and the witness oral sex, the man told the jury.

The witness testified as part of a cooperation agreement stemming from his guilty plea in a separate case, which alleges he was part of a botched scheme to bribe a woman to not testify against Kelly. No charges were brought against Kelly related to the scheme.

Earlier Monday, a woman testified that Kelly sexually assaulted her at age 17 following a performance in Miami in 1994.

Kelly, 54, whose birth name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, faces state and federal charges for sex trafficking, racketeering, coercion and other charges related to the alleged abuse and exploitation of six women — three of whom were underage at the time — over the course of 25 years. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.

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