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The first male accuser in R.Kelly’s federal racketeering trial has taken the stand to allege that the singer engaged in sexual acts with him when he was underage.
The man, who testified on Monday under the pseudonym Louis, told jurors that he met the “Ignition” singer in 2006 when he was a 17-year-old high school singer, the New York Times reports. He testified that he met Kelly at a drive-thru line at a McDonald’s in the Chicago area, where he worked after school. He claimed that the singer gave him, as well as another employee at the fast-food franchise, his number.
Louis, who was an aspiring rapper, alleged that Kelly lured him to his mansion in 2007 by claiming he would help him with his music career, the Associated Press reports.
The man said that Kelly asked him “what I was willing to do for music,” according to the Associated Press. The man said he replied, “I’ll carry your bags. ... Anything you need, I’ll be willing to do.”
However, Louis claimed Kelly had more sinister ideas and performed a sexual act on him instead.
“He just told me we had to keep it between me and him,” the man testified, adding that Kelly told him, “‘We’re family now. We’re brothers.’”
Luis testified he had multiple "sexual encounters" with Kelly and that Kelly recorded some of the incidents, CNN reports. He also recounted an "uncomfortable" incident in which Kelly brought him out to a workout area in a garage. Louis claimed Kelly “snapped his fingers two times" before a “young lady” crawled out from under a boxing ring, according to the New York Times. He testified that the woman then performed sexual acts on Kelly before his teen self.
Last year, Louis was charged by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn with attempting to bribe a witness to stop cooperating with the state in the case against the singer. That witness testified last week that Kelly sexually abused her when she was a 17-year-old aspiring musical artist herself.
Louis testified on Monday that he pleaded guilty to one count of attempted bribery and entered into a cooperation agreement with prosecutors as a result. He faces up to 15 years in prison.
"I was trying to help that person, I was trying to help myself as well," Louis told the courtroom, CNN reports. "I was going to get a certain part of the money and I thought that person might have some tapes on me as well."
He said that he wasn’t sure where he’d get the money he’d have paid the woman and claimed that Kelly had no part in the bribery.
Another accuser, a woman, testified on Monday that Kelly sexually assaulted her at age 17 in 1994 following a concert in Florida. She alleged that the singer and his associates took her and a friend to his dressing room where she was forced to have unprotected sex, the Associated Press reports.
While Louis is the first male to testify against the singer, earlier this month, another woman testified that Kelly groomed a boy nicknamed “Nephew” and that Kelly forced her to have sex with “Nephew” when he was an adult as a form of punishment for her.
Prosecutors say Kelly abused people for nearly two decades and that he led a criminal enterprise involving managers, bodyguards and other employees who recruited victims for sex. Kelly has long denied the allegations and his defense has described his accusers as groupies who only started accusing him of abuse following the #MeToo movement.
However, Kelly has been plagued with accusations for decades about his sexual behavior. He was accused of producing child pornography in Chicago in 2002, but was acquitted of the charge in 2008.
In Brooklyn, he faces more than a dozen criminal counts of sex trafficking, racketeering, coercion, and other charges in connection with the abuse of women and girls. He is also accused of producing child pornography and destroying evidence in a separate case in Illinois.
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