First male to speak publicly of alleged sexual abuse by R. Kelly testifies at trial


New York (CNN) – “As our relationship got stronger, he called me more like a brother – I was his little brother,” Louis testified.

A man identified only as “Louis” testified Monday at R. Kelly’s trial, saying the singer lured him to his home and studio when he was 17 with promises of helping his music career but instead sexually abused him. Louis is the first male to publicly speak of alleged sexual abuse by Kelly.

He was charged in a separate case and pleaded guilty in February to one count of attempting to bribe a witness. Kelly is not charged with having a role in the attempted bribery, and Louis testified Monday that Kelly was not aware of the plan.

Louis took the stand to describe a more than 10-year relationship with Kelly that started at a McDonald’s drive-thru when he was a high school aspiring rapper and ended sometime in the year after Kelly’s 2019 arrest, when Louis decided to cooperate with federal prosecutors in their case against the singer. His testimony came in the third week of Kelly’s Brooklyn federal trial on racketeering and sex trafficking charges.

Kelly has pleaded not guilty to all charges. An attorney for Kelly, Thomas Farinella, had no comment on Louis’ testimony when contacted by CNN.

Louis testified he met Kelly in 2006 while working at the drive-thru of a Chicago-area McDonald’s during his senior year in high school, saying a driver and Kelly pulled up in a Maybach and eventually handed the teen and a co-worker slips of paper with Kelly’s phone number. Louis testified he gave the number to his mother, who eventually called Kelly and told him her son was a big fan, an aspiring rapper and “would love to work with him on (his) music.” Kelly invited Louis, his mother and stepfather to a party at his home and studio in the Chicago suburb of Olympia Fields, Louis testified, and Louis was later invited to Kelly’s studio multiple times. Louis said he rapped for Kelly and even recorded a song in Kelly’s studio. One day when he was still 17, Louis said, Kelly invited him to his house, where the singer asked him what he “would do for music.” Kelly then asked whether he had any fantasies, specifically about “you and men,” to which Louis responded that he did not. He testified that Kelly unzipped his pants and started performing oral sex on him. Louis testified he had multiple “sexual encounters” with Kelly, but it was unclear from his testimony whether all of those alleged incidents took place when he was 17. He also testified that Kelly recorded many of the incidents on a camcorder or iPad.


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