R. Kelly is currently on trial facing charges including sex crimes, human trafficking, child pornography, racketeering, and obstruction of justice. After the prosecution had several alleged victims come forward to detail the reported abuse they faced at the hands of the R&B singer, Kelly’s defense team is now making their case. But just after the singer failed to produce one of his own witnesses, Kelly is now reportedly opting out of testifying on his own behalf.
During his hearing on Wednesday, Kelly told the judge that he won’t be taking the the witness stand to defend himself, per a report from Billboard. “You don’t want to testify, correct?” US District Judge Ann Connelly asked during the proceeding, to which Kelly replied: “Yes, ma’am.” Apparently, Kelly’s main reason is that he wants to avoid cross-examination from prosecution.
Kelly’s defense team is expected to rest their case on Wednesday evening, making way for closing arguments. Kelly’s defense case has been relatively brief and primarily relies on employees and other associates who agreed to discredit the sex crime allegations on the singer’s behalf. Per Billboard‘s report, most witnesses claimed they never saw Kelly abuse anyone, with one mentioning they only ever saw the singer being “chivalrous” to his love interests. Another witness, however, admitted on the stand that they owed Kelly for their career success and hoped to see him win the case.
On the other hand, the prosecution in Kelly’s case have brought a number of witnesses to the stands. One witness claimed they saw Aaliyah, who was under age when she met Kelly, in a sexual situation with the singer. Another woman accused Kelly of horrific and abusive sex crimes, including a forced abortion.