Testimony ended abruptly in the R. Kelly child pornography trial Wednesday — because of a last-minute defense witness who could undermine the testimony of a woman who allegedly had a threesome with Kelly and an underage girl.
The prosecution witness, a single mother from Atlanta, had been scheduled to testify this afternoon. But at about 1 p.m., Judge Vincent Gaughan adjourned the proceedings for the day.
Gaughan told the courtroom, out of the jurors’ presence, that defense lawyer Sam Adam Sr. informed him that morning of a new witness — not previously on the defense’s witness list — who had just come to light.
“I have no idea what’s going on. But it might be impeachment of this witness” scheduled for this afternoon, Gaughan said, apparently referring to the Atlanta woman.
Adam told Gaughan the new defense witness is scheduled to arrive this evening at 6 p.m. on a flight into Midway. “However long it takes, we’ll interview him,” Adam said. “If the state has a fax number, we’ll fax it to them at 2 a.m.”
“We never knew about this witness until approximately 9 o’clock this morning, when the witness called us,” Adam said.
Gaughan said he wanted to give prosecutors time to take the witness’ deposition — a formal interview done under oath before a court reporter. “I don’t care if the deposition takes place at 7 a.m.,” the judge said.
Kelly, 41, faces 14 counts of child pornography for allegedly videotaping himself having sex with an underage girl. Kelly’s defense lawyers contend the female on the sex tape is not who prosecutors say it is — and that the man on the tape is not Kelly.
Earlier this month, the Chicago Sun-Times reported the Atlanta woman would testify she had a three-way sexual encounter with Kelly and the underage girl who allegedly appears in the videotape.
If she testifies, she would identify the girl on the tape and say the girl was underage, sources said. She would also identify Kelly as the man on the tape, sources said.
In secret hearings held in April, Gaughan was told a Kelly aide paid the Atlanta woman to get back a copy of a different sex videotape, sources said.
The Kelly aide arranged for the woman to take a polygraph test to determine if she was telling the truth about that tape, sources said.