While post-trial commentary has sweated R. Kelly’s fame, the Little Man defense, and other colorful parts of the recently concluded circus, jurors in the six-years-in-the-running child pornography trial claim that the reasonable doubt (or “grayness,” as one juror described it) that resulted in their “not guilty” verdict revolved around the identity of the girl in the video, not as to whether Chuck and Keith had grafted Kelly’s head onto another fellow’s watersports so Stephanie “Sparkle” Edwards and her minions could tarnish Kells’ good name. Had the alleged victim or her parents corroborated her identity in the video, or had three family members not testified for the defense, the case may have had a very different outcome, mole or no mole.
“The key problem was the identity of the female,” juror #23 said. “Her absence was a major lack.”
“The family was too divided,” said juror #9, who in the preliminary votes had voted for a guilty verdict. “So you had to discount the family testimony either way.”
This didn’t mean that the jurors bought all the defense arguments wholesale. The missing mole, for instance, was a non-issue, they said. They didn’t want to examine the video any further, either.
“I’ve seen that video way too many times,” juror #21 said. “The first time was too many.”
It’s also worth noting that the jury was not made aware of facts like R.’s annulled marriage to a then-underage Aaliyah or the cash settlements he’s made with others who’ve accused of statutory rape. Ironically, R. Kelly may have had a harder time if the jury did. consist of his fans, as his fans would have seen Chappelle’s Show, read the other allegations, and known just how egregious the man’s pathologies are. But unless a DA can actually find an underage participant willing to testify in court, it’s unlikely we’ll see another case like this for Kelly again.