By Alice Gainer

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Closing arguments were heard Wednesday in the sex trafficking trial of R. Kelly.

The 54-year-old R&B singer did not take the stand inside Brooklyn Federal Court as the defense called its final witness in the morning, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported.

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Kelly is facing charges of running a Chicago-based enterprise of managers, bodyguards and other employees who helped him recruit and transport victims.

Since the trial began last month, jurors have listened as the prosecution called 45 witnesses who detailed allegations of sexual, physical and psychological abuse at the hands of Robert Sylvester Kelly, spanning three decades.

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Several women and two men took the stand alleging they were groomed by the R&B superstar.

Among the claims, young women were locked in rooms and had to ask permission to leave or use the bathroom, Kelly shooting a shaming video of one alleged victim, smearing feces on her face as punishment for breaking rules, and others alleged Kelly gave them herpes without disclosing he had a sexually transmitted disease.

R. Kelly leaves the Leighton Criminal Court Building after a hearing on sexual abuse charges on June 26, 2019 in Chicago. (credit: Kamil Krzaczynski)

One of his alleged victims was the late R&B singer Aaliyah. A former tour manager testified he bribed a government worker to get her a fake ID so Kelly could marry the 15-year-old because he feared he had gotten her pregnant.

The document falsely lists her age as 18, while he was 27.

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Another witness described seeing Kelly sexually abuse Aaliyah around 1993 when she was only 13 or 14.

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Earlier this week, the defense began calling a handful of witnesses, arguing the accusers are groupies who sought to take advantage of his fame.

On Monday, Larry Hood, a childhood friend who worked security for Kelly in the early 2000s as an off-duty Chicago police officer, told jurors he never saw Kelly misbehaving with underage girls and as a police officer would have had to take action if he saw anyone lock anyone in a room.

Hood said he was fired as a police officer in 2007 after a guilty plea in a counterfeit money case.

On Tuesday, an assistant audio engineer/runner and Kelly’s former accountant were called to the stand.

Jeff Meeks testified he did not see underage girls at his recording studio and did not see women locked in rooms. The accountant, John Holder, worked for the singer from just 2018-2019, before Kelly’s arrest, and testified he saw Kelly carry around a backpack full of cash to take the women and girls on shopping sprees.

But on cross examination he noted he did not see the interactions with women behind closed doors since the girlfriends were upstairs and he was downstairs with Kelly.

The defense called its fifth and final witness on Wednesday. Julius Darrington worked as a music consultant, beginning in 2016. He said he never saw Kelly abuse any of his girlfriends or hold them against their will, but also said he knew little of his personal life.

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He has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking and racketeering.

Alice Gainer