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R. Kelly Lawyers Want Witness Charged with a Crime

Chicago- Singer R. Kelly’s attorneys want a prosecution witness charged with a crime, according to court documents filed recently.

During a brief public hearing Friday, Cook County State’s Atty. Shauna Boliker revealed that prosecutors had prepared a response to a defense motion that asked the trial judge to compel prosecutors to file the criminal charges against the witness.

The witness’ identity was not revealed, and there was no discussion about the matter in open court. Such motions typically seek a judge’s instruction to the jury that the witness’ testimony can be treated with caution.

A gag order in the case prohibits both the defense and prosecutors from speaking with the media.

Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan met behind closed doors with both sides for nearly 30 minutes Friday.

Last month, the judge allowed a series of secret hearings concerning a witness who is set to testify that she had a three-way sexual encounter with Kelly and the underage girl he is accused making a sex tape with in the child-pornography case.

The woman could testify as early as Tuesday and is expected to identify Kelly and the girl on the video. Kelly, 41, has pleaded not guilty to 14 counts of child pornography. The girl, now 23, denies her involvement in the video.

Also on Friday, Kelly’s attorneys argued a motion to subpoena Jim DeRogatis, the Sun-Times music critic who first gave police the videotape.

The defense wants to ask DeRogatis about what he did with the tape while it was in his possession and whether he made a copy that he later showed to sources. Stephanie “Sparkle” Edwards, a former Kelly protégé and relative of the girl, testified that DeRogatis showed her the tape in January 2002.

The defense contends that the screening took place after DeRogatis provided the video to authorities. Gaughan has said repeatedly that copying and playing child pornography when the newspaper knew police were investigating could be a felony.

Sun-Times attorney Damon Dunn said that no one has proved DeRogatis made a copy or played it for Edwards after police became involved. “They’d much rather try a reporter than their own defendant,” Dunn said.

The jury, which began hearing testimony Tuesday, had Friday off. The trial is set to resume Tuesday.


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