Judge rules DeRogatis must testify

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Sun-Times music critic Jim DeRogatis must testify for the defense in R. Kelly's child porn trial, Judge Vincent Gaughan ruled this morning.

DeRogatis passed the notorious sex tape at the center of the case to police for investigation in 2002, and Kelly's attorneys say it is "crucial" to the singer's defense that DeRogatis testify.

Sun-Times attorney Damon Dunn argued Friday morning that DeRogatis should be protected from testifying by the Illinois reporter's privilege and the First Amendment. Kelly's attorneys were attempting to create a "chilling effect" against reporters covering Kelly by bringing DeRogatis in to testify, he said.

Anything DeRogatis could say in court would be "irrelevant" to Kelly's defense, he added.

But Gaughan sided with Kelly's attorney Marc Martin, saying that the reporter's privilege only protects journalists from identifying their sources. Gaughan said he would not allow Kelly's team to question DeRogatis about his sources, or to ask him how he got the tape, or to ask DeRogatis if he made a copy of the tape. "He will have to testify," Gaughan concluded.

Gaughan also said DeRogatis would have to turn over any notes relating to that meeting with Sparkle, saying that he did not believe that would reveal anything about DeRogatis's sources.

Previous testimony has shown that DeRogatis told police an anonymous tipster left the tape in his mailbox.

In ruling that DeRogatis must testify, Gaughan said the defense had said "seven times that they are not interested in his sources."

Kelly's attorneys say they believe DeRogatis may undermine the testimony of Stephanie "Sparkle" Edwards, who told police she had seen a copy of the tape with DeRogatis after DeRogatis had passed the tape to police.

Martin told Gaughan, "This case began with Mr. DeRogatis passing on that tape and we certainly have a right to present that evidence to the jury."

Martin added that DeRogatis had a "extreme bias" against Kelly.

He added, "The bias was so strong that it impelled the reporter to violate the law," suggesting that DeRogatis had made an "illegal" copy of the tape before passing it to police.

Speaking outside court after Gaughan's ruling, Dunn said DeRogatis would appeal.

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The Prosecution Rests in R. Kelly Trial — But Where Is Jim DeRogatis? from Vulture -- Entertainment, Music, Culture, Theater, Movies, Art -- New York Magazine Blog on June 3, 2008 1:49 PM

Chicago 'Sun-Times' music critic Jim DeRogatis — who passed Kelly's alleged sex tape to police in 2002 — is a no-show in court today, despite an order from the judge to arrive at 10 a.m. Read More

4 Comments

Jim should enjoy testifying since he loves talking about R Kelly 24/7.

This will be his chance to let the world know how obsessed he is with R Kelly.

BTW quit being biased and only approving comments that are anti-Kelly.

This probably won't be approved either...LOL

This really makes me wonder, since DeRogatis has an extreme bias towards R. Kelly. Why would DeRogatis copy allegedly child porn ? What was his motive when he did it ? Why wouldn't he allow the authorities to do their jobs with out a pesty reporter getting involved with a personal vendetta ?


The nouse is tightening... Come clean DeRogatis !!!

Oh okay now at the time this went down the girl onthe tape was underage right so kelly and lisa was adults right so why she not going to get charged too or why she never came forward......

Seems to me the truth of the matter lies with the person who sent the tape to DeRogatis. Normally this is basic police work, follow the chain of custody backwards.

DeRogatis cannot make a copy of the tape, or show it to a civilian without violating state and federal law. If the tape is found to be child porn, then DeRogatis would become a suspect for that alleged conduct.

If the State was truly interested in the truth of the matter, they would depose DeRogatis and grant him immunity. Regardless of the Kelly outcome, it appears a lot of questions will remain unanswered.

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R. Kelly on trial


The story of the allegations against R. Kelly started here in the Sun-Times. Almost six years later, it's now finally reached a trial.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Kim Janssen published on May 30, 2008 12:05 PM.

Lisa Van Allen and Damon Pryor Share a Past -- and a Child was the previous entry in this blog.

Mike Roman and the Tellstars crash Kelly trial is the next entry in this blog.

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