R. Kelly confirms he will not testify in child pornography trial
R. Kelly told a Chicago judge in court on Thursday that he would not take the witness stand.
The Ignition (Remix) singer is currently on trial for federal charges including coercing minors into sex, receiving and producing child pornography and obstruction of justice, the latter relating to allegations he successfully rigged his 2008 state trial.
Judge Harry Leinenweber asked Kelly on 1 September whether he would be testifying during the current trial, and the singer responded that he would not.
Kelly's business manager and co-defendant Derrel McDavid, who is accused of helping the singer rig his 2008 child pornography trial, agreed to testify. However, co-defendant Milton Brown, who is accused of receiving child pornography, declined to take to the witness stand, according to NBC Chicago.
Thursday also marked the beginning of Kelly's defence during the trial, after two weeks of testimony from the prosecution, who rested their case on Tuesday.
At the start of the day, Judge Leinenweber denied the defence's motion of acquittal, insisting that prosecutors presented sufficient evidence for the case to continue before the jury.
McDavid's friend and former police officer Christopher G. Wilson was the first witness for the defence. He testified that McDavid told him in 2001 that somebody was attempting to blackmail the I Believe I Can Fly star with threats about videos.
Kelly, full name Robert Sylvester Kelly, denies all the allegations.
The 55-year-old was sentenced to 30 years in prison in June after being found guilty of racketeering and violating an anti-sex trafficking law in New York.