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Closing Arguments Made In R. Kelly Sex Trafficking Trial

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Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Geddes told jurors during her closing argument in Brooklyn federal court that Kelly’s entourage of business managers, accountants, runners and other employees was “at his disposal.”

She said some “turned a blind eye” as they recruited women and girls for Kelly’s sexual gratification, a side long concealed from the public and fans of his music.

R. Kelly used his operations to “dominate his victims,” and exploited his “money and public persona to hide his crimes in plain sight,” Geddes said.

Kelly did not testify in his own defense, which is his right, and which could have subjected him to days of tough questioning by prosecutors, who spent 4-1/2 weeks presenting their case.

“No, ma’am,” Kelly told U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly when asked if he wanted to testify.

The defense case lasted about two days.

Music industry executive Julius Darrington, the fifth and final defense witness, testified on Wednesday that he sometimes spent long days with Kelly yet never saw him strike anyone or lock up women in rooms, as other witnesses have testified.

On cross-examination, he acknowledged not knowing what Kelly did “behind closed doors” when he was not around.

During the first day of closing arguments, the prosecutor, Elizabeth Geddes, said that Mr. Kelly used an extensive system of control to prevent his accusers, 11 of whom took the stand during his five-week trial, from speaking out or going public with their accusations.

“He used lies, manipulation, threats and physical abuse to dominate his victims,” Ms. Geddes said, adding that his immense wealth and fame allowed him to “hide in plain sight.”

Ms. Geddes’s closing arguments, which spanned three hours and will continue on Thursday, illustrated the expansive breadth of the prosecution’s case against the singer — and the steep challenge his defense team has faced in the trial.

Check out the CSB New York report below.