R. Kelly told the judge in his child pornography trial Tuesday that he doesn’t plan to testify in his own defense.
After Judge Vincent Gaughan told Kelly he had a right to not testify, the R&B singer leaned forward at the defense table with his hands folded and — speaking for the first time at the trial — responded: “I decided not to testify.”
The jury wasn’t in the room at the time.
Kelly, 41, has pleaded not guilty to charges that he videotaped himself having sex with an underage girl. Both Kelly and the alleged victim, now 23, have denied being on the tape.
Also Tuesday, the judge ruled that jurors can view the sex tape once they begin deliberating.
Kelly’s lawyers had asked the judge to bar jurors from reviewing the graphic video, saying they worried jurors would overemphasize one piece of evidence. But prosecutors argued the tape is the primary subject of the trial and couldn’t be kept from jurors.
Prosecutors are scheduled to call two rebuttal witnesses. Closing arguments are likely to be delivered Thursday.
Kelly’s attorneys surprised courtroom observers by resting their case Monday. Over two days, Kelly’s lawyers called 12 witnesses. One was a forensics expert who testified there didn’t appear to be a mole on the back of a man in a sex tape.
Defense attorneys say Kelly has a mole on his back, so the man on the tape can’t be him. But a prosecution witness who’ll take the stand for a second time is expected to challenge that claim.