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R. Kelly’s federal trial continued in a Chicago courtroom on Thursday.
A woman who has been central to Kelly’s legal troubles for more than two decades testified Thursday that the R&B singer sexually abused her “hundreds” of times before she turned 18. She also testified that she was the girl in the videotape with Kelly that was at the heart of his 2008 child pornography trial, of which he was acquitted.
Thursday was day two of R. Kelly’s federal trial in Chicago, after opening statements concluded Wednesday. The singer faces charges of enticing girls for sex and rigging a 2008 child pornography case.
Jane — the pseudonym for the now 37-year-old woman — paused, tugged at a necklace and dabbed her eyes with a tissue as she said for the first time publicly that she was the girl in the video and that the man was Kelly.
When the prosecutor asked how old she was at the time, she said quietly, “14.” Kelly, 55, would have been around 30 years old at the time.
When asked why she continued to have sexual relations with Kelly, Jane said she viewed him as an authority figured and did not know how to say “no” to him.
Jane also admitted that Kelly had her recruit other underage girls for sexual encounters with him.
According to TMZ, Jane did not take the stand in the 2008 child pornography trial, and the outlet reported that her and her family denied her relationship with Kelly for years.
Kelly, who has denied any wrongdoing, has been trailed for decades by complaints and allegations about his sexual behavior.
The scrutiny intensified after the #MeToo era and the 2019 six-part documentary “Surviving R. Kelly” that detailed sex abuse allegations involving women and teenage girls.
Kelly pleaded not guilty to 11 additional sex-related felonies during a 2019 court hearing.
A conviction in Chicago could add decades to a 30-year prison sentence he already received from a New York federal judge for charges that he used his fame to sexually abuse other young fans.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.