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Defense: Key government witness tried to extort R. Kelly


AP Legal Affairs Writer

CHICAGO (AP) — Defense lawyers at R. Kelly’s child pornography trial in Chicago have sought to portray a key government witness as a liar and extortionist. During a full day of cross-examination Wednesday, the defense contended Charles Freeman first approached the R&B star in 2001 and demanded Kelly pay $1 million or he’d go public with a video that could put Kelly in serious legal peril. Prosecutors say the video shows Kelly sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl. Freeman testified Tuesday that it was Kelly who first approached him, offering Freeman $1 million to recover the missing VHS tape. Based in part on that recording, Kelly faces federal charges that include production of child pornography and obstruction of justice.

Article Topic Follows: AP National

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