Jury selection got underway Monday at R. Kelly’s federal trial in his hometown of Chicago, where the R&B singer faces charges that he rigged his 2008 state child pornography trial by threatening and paying off a girl with whom he allegedly filmed himself having sex when he was around 30 and she was no older than 14.
Jurors acquitted Kelly on all charges in that 2008 trial, some explaining later that they felt they had no choice because the girl did not testify.
The woman, now in her 30s and referred to in filings only as “Minor 1,” will be the government’s star witness in the federal trial.
Kelly, 55, was already sentenced by a New York federal judge to a 30-year prison term for a 2021 conviction on charges he used his fame to sexually abuse other young fans.
Before at least two dozen potential jurors were brought in, the judge said he hoped to select 12 jurors and six alternates Monday and Tuesday from a pool of 125. Once a jury is chosen, the panel will hear opening statements from prosecutors and the defense before the first witness is called.