Page last updated at 16:58 GMT, Friday, 9 May 2008 17:58 UK

R Kelly porn trial gets under way

R Kelly
R Kelly was originally arrested nearly six years ago

R&B singer R Kelly has arrived at court in Chicago to face child pornography charges, nearly six years after first being arrested.

The performer has denied filming himself engaging in sex acts with a girl, who prosecutors in the US say could have been as young as 13.

The 41-year old faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Mr Kelly's lawyers' request to postpone the trial was denied. Jury selection will continue on Monday.

The defence team argued the singer could not have a fair trial due to recent news coverage.

It is thought Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan rejected the request as the trial has been pending for so long.

The trial is expected to last at least several weeks.

Some onlookers shouted messages of support at the singer, others jeered as he entered court.

R Kelly trial
Fans and protesters gathered outside the Cook County courthouse

Mr Kelly was arrested in February 2002 after the videotape - thought to have been made between 1998 and 2000 - was sent to police by his local paper, the Chicago Sun-Times.

He was charged four months later with 21 counts relating to child pornography and released on $750,000 (383,000) bail. Seven of the charges have since been dropped.

Complicating the trial for the prosecution is the fact the alleged victim, who is now 23, refuses to say if she is the girl on the tape.

News organisations argued in court for access to sealed court records and transcripts, a move which was opposed by both prosecution and defence lawyers.

The judge said he would rule on the request on 16 May.

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