*An attorney for R. Kelly said it is unlikely that the disgraced singer will take the witness stand at his sex-trafficking trial.
Billboard writes: “The potential spectacle of Kelly testifying has always been a long shot. U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly said Tuesday that the defendant still had time to change his mind before closing arguments, prompting him to nod his head.”
Kelly, 54, has repeatedly denied accusations that he groomed and sexually abused young girls.
Throughout his sex crimes and racketeering trial in Brooklyn, his lawyers portrayed the accusers as clout chasing groupies.
We reported earlier that Federal prosecutors have wrapped their case against the artist in Brooklyn.
Jurors heard testimony over 20 days from 45 witnesses in Kelly’s racketeering and sex trafficking case. Kelly has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
During cross-examinations, defense attorneys questioned alleged victims on why many waited years or even decades to report the alleged abuse.
The defense began introducing their own witnesses on Monday, New York Times reports. Former Chicago police officer Larry Hood, a childhood friend of Kelly, said he never witnessed Kelly’s alleged inappropriate antics with women or girls.
“As a police officer, I would have had to take action against that,” Hood said on the stand. “I never had to take any action. I was never made aware of any wrongdoing.”
Hood was aware, however, that Kelly surrounded himself with young girls like late singer Aaliyah and a group of “little Aaliyah’s little hype girls.”
“I wasn’t checking IDs at the studio,” Hood said Tuesday and added that only “later in life” did he learn of Kelly’s 1994 wedding to Aaliyah when she was 14 and he was 27.
R. Kelly is charged with one count of racketeering and eight violations of the Mann Act, which prohibits transporting individuals across state lines for sex acts. Kelly also faces a federal trial in Chicago on child pornography and obstruction charges, and similar charges in Illinois and Minnesota.