Page last updated at 09:07 GMT, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 10:07 UK

First R Kelly trial jurors picked

R Kelly
R Kelly's hits include She's Got That Vibe and I Believe I Can Fly

The first three jurors have been chosen for the US child pornography trial involving R&B star R Kelly.

A Baptist preacher's wife, a business executive and a telecoms worker were selected from the 15 potential jurors questioned in court in Chicago.

Altogether 16 people, including four "alternate" jurors, will be chosen.

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

The executive - a middle-aged man - called child pornography "the lowest of the low" during questioning by the judge and lawyers.

But he said he felt he could give a fair trial to the 41-year-old singer.

"Laws of man"

The preacher's wife comes from Olympia Fields, where Mr Kelly lives, and insisted her religious beliefs would not affect her time as a juror.

The judge reminded her that the trial involved the "laws of man, not the laws of God," and she said she understood.

The telecoms worker, who is in his 50s, said he did not like seeing what he considered pornographic magazines at corner shops, but told the judge this would not influence the way he assessed the facts in the case.

He added that the only R Kelly song he knew was the 1997 hit I Believe I Can Fly.

Potential jurors who were dismissed included a man in his 50s whom prosecutors said was clearly awestruck by Mr Kelly's celebrity, plus a security guard who said Mr Kelly would have "some explaining to do" if he was on the video.

Twenty other potential jurors out of an initial pool of 150 are scheduled to face questions on the second day of selection, which is expected to take a week.

Mr Kelly was charged in 2002 with 21 counts relating to child pornography and released on $750,000 (383,000) bail. Seven of the charges have since been dropped.

The singer faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

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