NEW YORK (AP) – She became an unsuspecting intern on the radio station in 2003, when she followed what she thought would be a career interview with an R&B-R superstar. Kelly.
Instead, she had a horrible experience while locked in a dark room for days, now she has testified years later with blurry details. She said she still lives with the belief that she was drugged and abused by Kelly while she was unconscious.
“I was sexually assaulted,” the woman told jurors Thursday at Kelly’s trial for sex trafficking. “It was not something I invited.”
The witness, who testified without using her real name, became the latest in a series of indictments to testify against Kelly since the August 18 trial in New York.
Kelly, 54, has repeatedly denied allegations that he led a criminal enterprise that sexually exploited women, girls and even boys during a three-year career highlighted by the “I Believe I Can Fly” anthem. His lawyers have portrayed his defendants as groups lying about their relationship with him.
Speaking publicly about her experience with Kelly for the first time, the former practitioner on the radio said she was a 21-year-old unmarried mother from Salt Lake City when she took the courage to approach Kelly’s company for an interview.
“It would be my first huge celebrity interview,” said the 39-year-old witness. “I thought he would start my career.”
She was invited to fly to Chicago and meet Kelly at the “Chocolate Factory” music studio, all of which was paid for by the Grammy Award-winning artist. There, she was greeted by someone who made her sign a non-disclosure agreement, asked for personal information about her family and surprised her by asking if she “needed protection” – specifically, a condom, she testified.
“No, I’m not here for that,” he replied.
She was told to wait for Kelly alone in a windowless room. When he tried to get out, he found that the door was locked from the outside and that, after knocking on the door without answering, he needed permission from Kelly to go to the bathroom or anywhere else, he said.
“I was scared. I was ashamed. “I was ashamed,” he said.
The witness claimed that two days had passed before she was finally given something to eat – Chinese food and a soft drink. After a few bites and sips from her meal, she fainted on a couch, she said.
She woke up when she found that someone had taken off all her clothes and felt “wet things” between her legs and her thighs, she said. He also spotted Kelly in the corner lifting his pants, he said, making it clear he had been attacked.
Kelly left the room, saying she would be back soon, he said, the last time she saw him. What seemed to have passed a few days before she was given a flight home, she said.
She said as she left the studio, an employee warned her to keep her mouth shut about what had happened. The way it was worded: “Do not go crazy with Mr. Kelly”. She took it as a possible threat against the child and her family.
As with other defendants, defense attorney Deveraux Cannick pressed the witness as to why it took her several years to present her charges. She also admitted that she had a cell phone when she claimed she was locked in the room.
“Did you call 911?” After you were raped, according to you, did you not call 911? Devero asked at the intersection.
“That is right,” he replied.
Another woman who testified Thursday was one who appeared after a series of highly acclaimed documentaries – “Surviving R. Kelly” – that portrayed him as a sexual predator. She described a troubled relationship with him, but did not accuse him of any crime.
The government instead tried to use it to confirm the testimony of other accusers that Kelly used beatings and other discipline to make the women he allegedly exploited stay in line for months or years.
“It was fun at first,” she said of her time with him. However, he said, a “check” was later carried out.