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R. Kelly victim testimony: He told me to ‘dress like a Girl Scout’

Witness testimony included a police officer who searched for a 17-year-old at Kelly’s home and the doctor who treated the singer for herpes.

(CN) — A former R. Kelly “superfan” continued testifying on the second day of the R&B singer’s federal trial on Thursday, tearing up as she described sexual and physical abuse at his home in Olympia Fields, Illinois. 

Jerhonda Pace said her sexual relationship with Kelly lasted for around eight months, beginning when Pace was 16 years old and Kelly was 42. 

“He wanted me to put my hair up in pigtails and dress like a Girl Scout,” she told Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Geddes during direct examination. 

Kelly, now 54, would record himself and Pace having sex on a Canon video camera positioned on a tripod, and on an iPhone and iPad, she testified. At Kelly’s suggestion, Pace said she got a tattoo with his name, “Rob,” on her left breast. She has since covered it up with a black heart. 

Pace, now 28, described skipping school to attend Kelly’s 2008 child pornography trial in Chicago, and said she first met Kelly outside court on April 1 of that year. 

She exchanged phone numbers with him after going to a party at Kelly’s home in May 2009 where she claimed to be 19 years old. Pace said she then returned to the house where she undressed for Kelly and agreed to let him to perform oral sex on her.

Feeling uncomfortable, Pace told the singer her true age and displayed her ID showing her to be 16, she testified. 

“He asked me, ‘What is that supposed to mean?’” Pace said, and then instructed her to continue telling others she was 19, and to “act 21.”

Then, she said, “he bent me over the back of a sofa and he took my virginity.”

Defense attorney Devereaux Cannick, of the firm Aiello & Cannick, cross-examined Pace about that encounter. 

When Pace repeated that she was uncomfortable at Kelly’s home, Cannick asked, “but you were not so uncomfortable that you decided, ‘Hell no, I’m not taking off my clothes, I’m going home?’” 

Cannick asked how it was possible that she was 14 years old at Kelly’s trial, and 16 years old when she attended a party at his home the following year. 

“My birthday is April 19th,” Pace clarified. 

Cannick pressed the matter: “You advanced two years in a year and one month?” 

“That’s correct,” Pace responded. 

After she had sex with Kelly, Pace said he made her a blue drink that he called “sex in the kitchen,” and she began to feel ill, so she laid down in the so-called “mirror room,” a bedroom at Kelly’s house that had mirrored walls and a mirror on the ceiling. 

That’s the room where Pace said she spent most of her time when she was with Kelly. She described having to follow “rules” like wearing baggy clothing and making sure to acknowledge Kelly when he entered the room. 

She said she had to text or call Kelly when she wanted to use the bathroom — and when she was on his “bad side,” those requests were denied, once for a period of three days. 

On redirect, Pace read from a journal she wrote after an encounter with Kelly turned violent. Accusing Pace of lying, Kelly called her a “silly bitch,” then spat in her face and mouth and slapped her four times, she said. 

Kelly said that “if I lie to him again, it’s not going to be an open hand next time,” according to Pace’s journal. She then went home and told her mother about her relationship with Kelly, she said. 

During two days of testimony, Pace remained calm and spoke in an even tone, until Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Geddes asked her to read aloud from the journal, which Pace created in January of 2010 when she decided she wanted to press charges against Kelly. She later pursued civil claims instead, which resulted in several settlement agreements. 

Also testifying on Wednesday was a police officer from the Village of Olympia Fields who responded to a June 2009 call to look for “a missing juvenile” at Kelly’s home. That juvenile was Dominique, a friend of Pace’s — they met in a MySpace R. Kelly fan club — who was 17 years old at the time. 

Wrapping up the day’s testimony was Dr. Kris McGrath, a Chicago-based internal medicine physician who was Kelly’s primary care physician for 25 years, and diagnosed and treated Kelly for herpes. 

McGrath said he first suspected Kelly may have herpes in 2000. He prescribed Valtrex for the singer, advising him to take what Kelly called the “blue pill” daily, and to inform sexual partners about his condition. 

Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, is charged with knowingly transmitting the virus to two victims, and Jerhonda Pace also testified that she got herpes from Kelly. 

McGrath said Kelly did not pay him for more than two decades of medical services, but would give the doctor free concert tickets, usually paying for his travel and lodging for out-of-town shows, and invited McGrath to his studio and his home, including one invitation to attend a funeral for a dog. 

As late as 2019, the same year Kelly was indicted on child pornography charges in Chicago in addition to his racketeering and Mann Act indictment in the Eastern District of New York, McGrath remained Kelly’s friend and doctor, he testified. 

Categories: Criminal Entertainment Trials

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