Jerhonda Pace resumed her testimony in Brooklyn federal court a day after telling jurors she was a 16-year-old virgin and a member of Kelly's fan club when he invited her to his mansion in 2010. She claimed that she was instructed to "Rob's Rules" while there. These rules restricted her dress, speech, and bathroom access.
She said Kelly -- born Robert Sylvester Kelly -- sometimes demanded she wear pigtails and "dress like a Girl Scout" during sexual encounters that Kelly often videotaped.
Deveraux Cannick, the defense attorney, sought to prove that Pace concealed her true motives about Kelly and deceived Kelly by lying about her age.
Cannick asked, "You were actually stalking him?"
She replied, "That's not right."
She had previously testified that she had told Kelly she was 19 years old when they first met, but she had also informed Kelly that she was only 16 at the time he abused her sexually.
Cannick presented her with a settlement agreement she signed, in which she indicated that she had never disclosed to Kelly that she was minor. She claimed it was in return for hush money.
Prosecutors showed jurors screen shots from Pace’s phone that included several communications with Kelly from January 2010. This included a text from Kelly reading "Please Call". There was also an image of Kelly with "Rob" tattooed on her chest. She claimed that she has since "covered it with a dark heart."
Pace was the first witness in the trial. She was one of many female accusers, mostly known as Jane Does. Pace is expected to testify during a lengthy trial that will last several weeks. Others likely witnesses include former associates who are willing to cooperate and have not spoken publicly about their experiences with Kelly.
Unless they are willing to share their identities, the Associated Press won't name alleged victims. Pace has been interviewed by media and appeared in a documentary.
Kelly, 54, denies that he preyed upon Pace and other victims over a 30-year-long career that was highlighted by "I Believe I Can Fly," his 1996 smash hit that has become an inspirational anthem at school graduations, weddings and other events.
These openings and testimony were more than a decade ago after Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges in Chicago in 2008. This reprieve allowed Kelly to continue his music career until the #MeToo Era, which encouraged alleged victims to come forward, caught him off guard.
These women's stories were featured in the Lifetime documentary "Surviving R. Kelly." It explored how Kelly's supporters protected him and silenced his victims over decades. This foreshadowed the federal racketeering conspiracy case that landed Kelly behind bars in 2019.
An anonymous jury of seven men, and five women will hear the case. __S.24__
The New York case is just one of many legal problems facing the singer. He has also pleaded not guilty in Minnesota and Illinois to sex-related offenses.