Prosecutors release R. Kelly's underage sex tapes back to him
UPI News Service, 02/02/2005
Prosecutors in R. Kelly's child pornography case in Chicago say they have turned over the original videotape to the R&B star's lawyers, reports E! Online.
The prosecutors had been refusing to surrender the tape for two years, although bootleg versions of it have been widely available, the report said.
The prosecutors said the original videotape shows the singer having sex with a minor.
Kelly's lawyers have previously argued their superstar client is not the man shown on the tape having sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old girl. The graphic footage was shot sometime between 1998 and 2000 and was the subject of a Chicago Sun-Times story two years ago that claimed the "Snake" singer used his fame and fortune to seduce underage women.
The alleged incident led prosecutors to charge Kelly with 21 counts of child pornography, seven of which were dismissed last year during pretrial procedures.
The Grammy-winning star has pleaded innocent to all the charges. A trial date is pending a Feb. 18 hearing.