NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Closing arguments continued for a second day in the sex trafficking trial of R&B superstar R. Kelly.
Inside Brooklyn Federal Court, the prosecution concluded what it started on Wednesday. In all, the closing argument took more than six hours and was extremely detailed, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported.READ MORE: The Aztecs 'Slowly Crush You': CBS Sports' Randy Cross Previews Fresno State-#21 San Diego State, Other Matchups
They argued Kelly “isolated victims, set rules and exacted punishment,” with many victims believing he held the ticket to their big break.
The 54-year-old shook his head multiple times in reaction.
Then the defense began by saying the witnesses were lying on the stand and that Kelly did not have to recruit women.
They also compared him to a civil rights icon.
During the six weeks of testimony, there were 50 witnesses, including 45 for the prosecution.
The prosecution argued those witnesses and the evidence show that Kelly ran an enterprise of assistants, bodyguards and others, all used “to target, groom and exploit girls, boys and young women for his own sexual gratification.”
Their pictures were all displayed on a board in the courtroom surrounding a photo of Kelly.READ MORE: New York State Trooper Christopher Baldner Charged With Murder In Christmas 2020 Crash In Ulster County That Killed 11-Year-Old
Without that inner circle, prosecutors said he could not have carried out his alleged crimes, and that he ruled them with an iron fist.
Among the claims detailed at trial was his marriage to the late R&B singer Aaliyah. It’s alleged a government worker was bribed to get her a fake ID so Kelly could marry the 15-year-old because he feared he had gotten her pregnant.
Witnesses testified about being locked in rooms, having to ask permission to leave or use the bathroom, and perform disgusting acts with human waste. Others allege Kelly gave them herpes without disclosing he had a sexually transmitted disease.
A handful of witnesses for the defense included former employees and associates who said they never saw Kelly abuse anyone.
His lawyers argue the accusers are groupies and stalkers who sought to take advantage of his fame and lied on the witness stand.
During its closing argument, one of his lawyers compared Kelly to civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., saying they both sought to uphold the constitution and make the government “be true to what’s on paper.”
Kelly’s lawyer said the R&B singer was marketed as a sex symbol and he lived his life like this exclaiming, “not a crime, kinky sex,” and that having people call him “Daddy” “is not a crime,” noting former Vice President Mike Pence calls his wife, “Mother.”MORE NEWS: FDNY Planning Big Anti-COVID Vaccine Mandate Demonstration For Thursday Morning Outside Gracie Mansion
Kelly is charged with racketeering. The charge has 14 underlying crimes associated with it. His also charged with multiple violations of the Mann Act, which makes it illegal to transport anyone across state lines for any immoral purpose.