On August 30th, the first male accuser of Robert Sylvester Kelly, known to the public as “John Doe #1” or "Louis", stepped forward and accused the artist of taking advantage of his desire to break into the music industry when he was 17 years old, and sexually abusing him.
This allegation follows similar allegations against the singer of abuse of teenage girls and women, physical abuse, hush payments, and bribery. R. Kelly's official charges include a single count of racketeering and eight counts of violating an interstate anti-sex trafficking law known as the Mann Act.
According to coverage by NBC, the witness, who testified under the name Louis, a pseudonym, testified as a part of a cooperation agreement stemming from a guilty plea in a separate case, alleging that he was part of a botched scheme to bribe a woman not to testify again.
In the federal court in Brooklyn, the witness told the jury that he first met Kelly as a senior in high school in a McDonald’s drive through in 2006, and then was lured into his Chicago-area home in 2007 with false promises of helping his music career.
According to the New York Times, Louis said that his mother called Mr. Kelly, hopeful that the entertainer could help further her son’s music ambitions, and Mr. Kelly invited the family to a party at his mansion. While there, the two took a photo and the singer whispered in his ear that he should come back to other parties alone, Louis told jurors. Afterward, Louis twice traveled to Mr. Kelly’s studio, known as the Chocolate Factory, to record music and receive feedback, he said.
John Doe #1 then recalled Kelly had asked him what he was “willing to do to for music”, which the victim responded with “I’ll carry the bags…. Anything you need, I’ll be willing to do.”
Kelly responded, “That’s not it, that’s not it.” And then proceeded to ask him if he’s ever had sexual fantasies involving men, then Kelly proceeded to “crawl down on his knees” and give him oral sex, even though he “wasn’t into it”.
Kelly told the victim to “keep between him and me”, after the assault.
According to the New York Times, as they continued to meet, Louis said Mr. Kelly began to call him a “little brother,” told him to refer to him as “Daddy” and recorded their sexual encounters. He said that he kept seeing Mr. Kelly because he “really wanted to make it,” and that he took friends to some of the singer’s parties. Louis said Mr. Kelly asked him to “keep bringing” back one of his best friends.
The friend was a 16-year-old boy who later received Mr. Kelly’s phone number, Louis said, and court documents say that Mr. Kelly began having sexual encounters with him, too, while he was underage. On one occasion, the singer directed the two to “touch each other” sexually, Louis testified, but they refused.
In a later episode, he and Mr. Kelly met at his home in Olympia Fields, Ill., in a garage set up as a workout area, in which he described that Kelly snapped his fingers to summon a naked girl form where she was hiding under a boxing ring to give Kelly and the victim oral sex, he told the jury.
The second of R. Kelly’s male victim’s, known as “John Doe #2” has yet to testify. Doe #2 was introduced to Kelly through John Doe #1, and was also 16-17 at the time of meeting.
According to dailybeast R. Kelly’s representative, Thomas A. Farinella and Nicole Blank Becker, attempted to block federal prosecutors from presenting this new testimony from the male victims in the singer’s trial, citing the fear that the jurors may be homophobic. This did not work.
According to the New York Times, Mr. Kelly appeared impassive through most of the trial, seemed to become agitated by Louis’s testimony, wiping his head and clutching his mask while the man was on the stand Monday. As Louis spoke, Mr. Kelly shook his head and folded his hands.