R Kelly 'Taped Underage Sex Acts'
Opening arguments have been made in the child pornography trial involving US R&B star R Kelly. A prosecutor at the Chicago trial told jurors Mr Kelly had staged and taped "vile" sex acts with an underage girl. But a lawyer for Mr Kelly said the video showed neither him nor the alleged victim. The star has denied filming himself engaging in sex acts with a girl who prosecutors say could have been as young as 13. In Tuesday's opening arguments, prosecutor Shauna Boliker told the jury they would "see the sex acts he commands her to do". "Acts you have never seen before. Vile, disturbing and disgusting sex acts, actions that were choreographed, produced and starred in by Robert Kelly." But defence lawyer Sam Adam Jr said the video was "at best a copy of a copy of a copy". He said Mr Kelly had a significant mole on his lower back and that the man on the tape did not have the mole. Mr Adam said neither the FBI nor "a single witness" could identify the man in the tape as Mr Kelly. Mr Kelly sat grim-faced through the hearing, the Associated Press news agency reported. The jurors in the Chicago court case were selected from an initial pool of 150. They include a man who spent five days in jail for marijuana possession and the wife of a Baptist preacher. Gagging order On Friday, Judge Vincent Gaughan refused a media request for access to transcripts of any parts of the hearing held behind closed doors. He also refused to lift a gagging order forbidding lawyers from talking about the case. The judge said he was not trying to inhibit the press but wanted to guarantee a fair trial. In 2002, Mr Kelly was charged with 21 counts relating to child pornography and was released on $750,000 (£383,000) bail. Seven of the charges have since been dropped. Mr Kelly, whose hits include She's Got That Vibe and I Believe I Can Fly, faces up to 15 years in jail if convicted. The girl, now 23, who is alleged to be in a crucial videotape, says it was not her in the footage.
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