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R. Kelly Ready For Trial, New Witnesses Step Forward
Contributed by: JaneƩ Bolden
Source: sohh.com
Posted on: March 14, 2008 07:50 MST
Filed under: R&B, Pop

R. Kelly

R. Kelly now has two new state witnesses to worry about in his upcoming trial on child pornography charges.

The Chicago Tribune reports, two new state witnesses are expected to bolster the prosecution's case by corroborating claims about the identity of the girl who was allegedly videotaped having sex with the Pied Piper of R&B.

With the trial set for May 9th, Cook County Circuit Judge Vincent Gaughan has agreed to the addition of the two new witnesses.

At a court hearing yesterday (March 12) R.Kelly's lawyer, Edward Genson expressed some frustration at new witnesses being added so close to the trial date, however he did not object to the new witnesses.

AssistantState's Atty. Shauna Boliker told the court that the new potential witnesses "just recently came into our knowledge."
Genson told the court that he has already interviewed one of the new witnesses, who is from the Chicago area, however he said he hasn't received any information about the second witness. Gaughan said both sides can question the two witnesses before the start of trial.

Prosecutors in the case have been facing denials from the young woman, allegedly videotaped having sex with Kelly, who says she does not appear in the video. In January Gaughan turned down prosecutors request to allow expert testimony about the alleged victims denial.

The 40-year-old R&B singer was indicted on child pornography charges in June 2002 for allegations he had videotaped himself having sex with an underage girl. Prosecutors have said the girl may have been as young as 13 when the tape was made.

According to Tribune sources, both witnesses knew Kelly and the girl around the time the video was made. One witness worked for Kelly and met the girl, while the other was a friend of the girl who'd met Kelly.
By judge's order, all witnesses' identities are being kept secret. Both are also under a gag order.
Gaughan called the last-minute request to add witnesses "extraordinary." While he agreed to allow the new witnesses, he added that he prefers not to delay the trial any further. He noted Kelly's case has come up on his docket 112 times.

Both sides are due back in court April 1 to discuss jury instructions.
Kelly, who has denied the charges, was present at Wednesday's hearing but he did not speak. He could be sentenced to 15 years in prison if convicted.

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