The jury selection is now complete for R. Kelly’s upcoming sex trafficking trial.
CNN reports, Seven men and five women were sworn in by US District Judge Ann Donnelly in Brooklyn this week. The judge sought assurance from each juror that they would remain impartial despite all the publicity surrounding the case.
The 54-year-old R&B musician faces a series of sex abuse charges in several states. Robert Kelly has maintained his innocence and has pled not guilty to all of them. Including racketeering charges based on alleged acts including sexual exploitation of children, kidnapping, forced labor and sex trafficking.
“Prosecutors allege Kelly was the leader of a criminal enterprise made up of associates who promoted R. Kelly’s music and his brand “to recruit women and girls to engage in illegal sexual activity” with the singer, according to an indictment filed by prosecutors. The filing states that people who served as managers, bodyguards, drivers, personal assistants and members of his entourage were part of his criminal enterprise.”
According to a court filing prosecutors also claim that Kelly abused a boy who was under 18 in 2006. Allegedly the “Trapped In The Closet” singer met an unidentified 17 year-old boy at a McDonald’s in Chicago. He then invited him to his recording studio to mentor him in the music business. Allegedly Robert Kelly then asked him “what he was willing to do to succeed in the music business?” Claiming Kelly had sexual contact with the child. Prosecutors stated at a hearing on last Tuesday that the victim is expected to testify.
This will be the Chicago natives second trial, after he was acquitted in 2008 of child pornography charges.
Opening statements are scheduled to start next Wednesday, August 18.
The federal trial is expected to last between six and eight weeks.