Thing took a turn for the worst for R. Kelly and his defense team on the second day of his trial when a prosecution witness positively identified the underage girl captured on video allegedly having sex with the R&B singer.
Mr. Kelly is on trial for engaging in sex acts with a girl who prosecutors say may have been as young as 13 at the time.
Simha Jamison, 24, testified that she recognized her friend Roshona Landfair, 23, in the footage, stating she and the alleged victim often visited the singer at his recording studio and a Chicago basketball court during their 10-year friendship. She also testified that Mr. Kelly would often give Ms. Landfair money.
Ms. Landfair testified before a grand jury in 2002 that she was not the girl in the videotape and has so far refused to testify against Mr. Kelly.
Both Mr. Kelly and his defense team have professed that neither he nor Ms. Landfair is depicted in the 26-minute video showing a man engaging in graphic sexual acts with an underage girl. Sam Adam Jr., Mr. Kelly’s lawyer, described the tape as “at best a copy of a copy of a copy,” claiming neither the FBI nor “a single witness” could conclusively identify his client as the man on the tape. But Cook County prosecutor Shauna Boliker has made it clear that she intends to show jurors the footage, telling them they would see footage of an “underage child performing sex acts that you have never seen before“.
Mr. Kelly faces as much as 15 years if he’s found guilty.