R Kelly accused of sexually exploiting teenage boy and asking what he was ‘willing to do’ for music
A man has told a court that R Kelly sexually exploited him after asking what the male accuser – who was just 17 at the time – was “willing to do” for his music career.
Kelly is on trial for several charges, including a single count of racketeering and eight counts of violating the interstate anti-sex trafficking law known as the Mann Act, according to NME. The singer has repeatedly denied accusations that he preyed on victims during a 30-year career.
The first alleged male victim of Kelly, who testified under the pseudonym Louis, took to the witness stand on Monday (30 August) as the trial entered its eighth day. Louis said he first met the singer in 2006 when he was a 17-year-old working at a McDonald’s in the Chicago area.
He told the court that Kelly gave him his phone number and invited him to his house so he could perform in his recording studio and receive tips on the music industry, the BBC reported.
According to the testimony, Louis met with Kelly at his Chicago-area home in 2007 under the pretence that the singer would help the then-teenager with his fledgling music career.
Kelly asked the teenager “what I was willing to do for music”, Louis testified. He said he replied, “I’ll carry your bags. … Anything you need, I’ll be willing to do.”
“That’s not it,” he said R Kelly responded before asking the teenager if he ever fantasised about having sex with men.
Louis then described how R Kelly “crawled down on his knees and proceeded to give me oral sex” though “I wasn’t into it”, according to the Guardian.
The witness said he was instructed by Kelly to keep the encounter “between him and me”, adding “we family now, we brothers”.
Louis also described an incident in which Kelly “snapped his fingers three times” to summon a naked girl from where she was hiding under a boxing ring to give Kelly and the witness oral sex.
The witness also told the jury that Kelly asked him to call him “daddy” and would film their sexual encounters.
He told the court that he kept seeing Kelly because “I really wanted to make it in the music industry”.
Louis, now 32, was testifying as part of a cooperation agreement he entered into after pleading guilty in a separate case alleging he was part of a plan to bribe a woman not to testify against Kelly, Sky News reported.
Kelly has not been charged concerning that case.
The court has heard from several women claiming they were sexually abused by R Kelly. A female accuser on Monday testified Kelly sexually assaulted her at the age of 17, following a 1994 concert in Miami.
The woman told the court that she and her friend were approached by two men “who looked like bouncers” and invited them backstage. She alleged the singer took her and a friend into his dressing room after the show and raped her.
The woman told the court she had been in “complete shock” and “went blank”.
According to the BBC, R Kelly’s lawyers have portrayed his accusers as groupies who are lying and out for revenge after their relationships with the “I Believe I Can Fly” hitmaker ended.
On cross-examination, defence lawyer Deveraux Cannick asked why the woman, who is now 44, waited over two decades to contact law enforcement about the encounter.
“Because I didn’t want to feel more shame and trauma,” she replied.
The trial is still ongoing.
Rape Crisis England and Wales works towards the elimination of sexual violence. If you’ve been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can access more information on their website or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999. Rape Crisis Scotland’s helpline number is 08088 01 03 02.
Readers in the US are encouraged to contact RAINN, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline on 800-656-4673.
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