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.


SEE ALSO
R Kelly: Successes and scandals
09 May 08 |  Entertainment
R&B star sues over R Kelly tour
04 Jan 08 |  Entertainment
Date set for R Kelly porn trial
02 Aug 07 |  Entertainment
US judge insists on R Kelly trial
29 Oct 05 |  Entertainment
R Kelly out on $750,000 bail
07 Jun 02 |  Entertainment
R Kelly charged over child porn
06 Jun 02 |  Entertainment
Third underage sex case for R Kelly
30 Apr 02 |  Entertainment


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific