CHICAGO – The R. Kelly child-pornography trial adjourned early Wednesday because of a surprise defense witness who may undermine the testimony of a woman expected to claim she had a threesome with the R&B singer and the alleged victim in the case.
Judge Vincent Gaughan said attorneys needed time to depose the man, who potentially could impeach someone else's testimony, but didn't elaborate. Kelly attorney Sam Adam Sr. said the man was flying to Chicago Wednesday night from another state.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday that the testimony in question was that of the bombshell witness, a single mother from Atlanta.
The prosecution had been expected to call the woman to the stand Wednesday to testify about a three-way sexual encounter she had with the singer and his alleged victim. The paper said she was expected to identify the female in the tape, who the witness says was a minor at the time the video was filmed.
Kelly, 41, is charged with 14 counts of child pornography for allegedly videotaping himself having sex with an underage girl. He has pleaded not guilty and faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
An attorney for R. Kelly said Wednesday he received a call from a man who claims to have information relevant to the case, prompted the judge to adjourn early.
On Wednesday, a high school basketball coach testified that one of his former players is the young female who appears on the sex tape.
Jacques Conway said he recognized his former player, in part, by a distinctive cross worn by the female participant on the graphic 27-minute videotape. He said he had seen his former player wear the necklace.
The prosecution's bombshell witness was at the center of a series of secret hearings held last month, the Tribune reported. The defense tried to bar her from testifying.
His attorneys have said he is not on the tape, even noting that the singer has a mole on his back and the man on the tape does not. The alleged victim, now 23, also has denied she is on the tape.
But a dozen witnesses have identified the same person as the alleged victim who prosecutors claim was a minor when the tape was made. Prosecutors claim the tape was made between Jan. 1, 1998, and Nov. 1, 2000, and that the female participant was born in September 1984.
Kelly attorney Sam Adam Jr. asked Conway about the alleged victim's character.
"At any time did you see anything that would lead you to believe she would sell her body for money?" Adam asked.
"No," Conway responded.
The man on the videotape is seen handing money to the female participant.
A middle school basketball coach, who said he got to know the alleged victim through some of her friends, also testified Wednesday that she was on the tape.
On Tuesday, a former personal assistant to R. Kelly testified that she believes the R&B superstar appeared in a sex tape, and said the alleged victim also was on the tape. Lindsey Perryman worked for Kelly and his family on and off from around 2000 to 2007.
Tjada Burnett, a family friend of the alleged victim, also testified Tuesday that she was certain the female on the tape was an underage girl.
Although Kelly won a Grammy in 1997 for the gospellike song "I Believe I Can Fly," his biggest hits are raunchy ballads like "Ignition" and his current single, "Hair Braider." He is scheduled to release a new album in July.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.