Skip to content
R. Kelly trial: More mole testimony expected in prosecution's rebuttal
After the surprising close to the defense case early Monday after just two days, the prosecution will begin its rebuttal to the defense's case Tuesday.
The prosecution plans to again call Grant Frederics, a forensic video analyst who found what appeared to be a mole on the back of the sex tape's male participant.
During opening statements, the defense dropped a potential bombshell when it told jurors that Kelly has had a mole on his back since childhood and that since there was no mole on the back of the male participant in the video, Kelly could not be the man on the tape.
Frederics is expected to rehash some of his earlier testimony and to rebut testimony from the defense's forensic expert, Dr. Charles Palm, who said in his examination of the videotape that he could not find a mole.
The prosecution also plans to call an assistant district attorney from Atlanta. Robert Wolf is expected to deny suggestions that Lisa Van Allen, who testified she had a three-way sexual encounter with Kelly and the alleged underage victim, was given a deal to testify in the Kelly case.
During the trial, the defense not so subtly suggested that Van Allen's boyfriend, a felon who was recently arrested for the possession of a loaded AK-47 and drugs in his suburban Atlanta home, was given probation by the Fulton County district attorney's office because Van Allen testified in the trial.
Court will resume Tuesday with defense motions at 10 a.m., before the prosecution begins its rebuttal.
June 9, 2008 12:28 PM: Much to everyone's surprise, the defense rests
Much to the surprise of the courtroom gallery, R. Kelly's lawyers rested their case Monday morning after three days of testimony in defense of the R&B singer.
For about 15 minutes, attorneys for both sides handled a few housekeeping matters.
Then Cook County Circuit Judge Vincent Gaughan informed the jury that there would be no testimony today. He told them they were free to stay and have lunch on the county's dime or go home. He told jurors that, if the case stays on course, they should expect closing arguments on Thursday.
With the jury dismissed, the judge began hearings on various motions in the case.
June 9, 2008 10:29 AM: Defense to hit 'play' on altered-tape theory?
As part of R. Kelly's defense, his lawyers have floated the idea that someone doctored the sex tape at the heart of the child pornography case by placing the R&B superstar's head on another man's body.
The high-priced defense team likened the film-editing trick to the technology used in "Little Man," the 2006 film in which Marlon Wayans was digitally manipulated to look like a 1-year-old baby. (He actually played a diminutive thief whom Shawn Wayans mistakes as his newly adopted son, but we'll spare you the rest of that painful plot summary.)
MTV News caught up to Shawn Wayans recently and asked him how difficult such an endeavor would be. The actor seemed to agree with the prosecution's expert witnesses, who said the process would be extremely expensive and wholly time consuming.
"It's not easy and it's very complicated," Wayans told MTV. "It takes a lot of special effects guys to plot that out."
Wayans said he didn't want to get involved in the trial and described the so-called "Little Man" defense as "very creative." Indeed, it may be the best press the movie has ever received, given that one critic called the widely panned film "fatuous, unfunny and profoundly unentertaining."
"I just hope Little Man don't get subpoenaed into court," Wayans said, laughing. "He wouldn't be a good alibi."
The trial resumes this morning with more defense witnesses none of whom are expected to be Little Man.
June 5, 2008 5:14 PM: Defense's video analyst rebuts state expert
After lunch, the defense called forensic video analyst Charles Palm to counter the state's expert.
Palm has faced off against Grant Fredericks in previous cases. For more than an hour and a half Thursday afternoon, Palm presented his own frame-by-frame analysis of the sex tape to refute Fredericks' opinions.
Fredericks had previously testified that he'd spotted a mole on the back of the male participant in the sex tape. He said that the mark on Kelly's back as shown in his 2002 arrest photo was similar in size and location as the mole on the man in the video.
But Palm testified Thursday that, in his opinion, the printed images upon which Fredericks based his analysis were "of such poor quality" that he couldn't understand how Fredericks arrived at those conclusions.
As for the moving images on the tape, Palm told the court that the mark was not a mole but rather residue and shadowing that disappears and reappears on the frame.
Would the mole on Kelly's back likely pull such a disappearing act?
"No, that's a fairly high-contrast mole on the skin. I would expect to see it as a persistent image," Palm said. "[The mark] was not anything that was physically a part of the back of the individual."
After testifying there was evidence that the tape had been digitally edited, Palm went on to show just how easy it would be for someone to fabricate the sex tape. He showed snippets of the tape that he had manipulated, ones in which the images of the man and young girl fade in and out.
At one point, the man is shown to be having sex with a girl with no head and vice versa.
Fredericks had testified that it would take an expert working around the clock for 44 years to manufacture the 27-minute tape. Palm, however, said he made those snippets in a few spare hours in a couple of afternoons.
He also said you don't have to be an expert to do it.
Palm, who earns $250 an hour for such accounts, has no formal training or certification in forensic video analysis. What he knows about the subject he would "pick it up on my own."
His work has never been published or reviewed by peers in the forensic video analysis field. He has written no books and hasn't published any articles in forensic journals. And Palm has analyzed 11 tapes in the last six years. He has a doctorate in engineering.
Still, Palm said, you don't need training when you have computer programs. "The computer can do something like this in just a matter of a few seconds," he said.
Kayce T. Ataiyero