Grammy-winning R&B singer R. Kelly went to Brooklyn court on Monday as jury selection began in his sex trafficking trial set for 18 August.
A conviction could result in decades in prison for the singer, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly.
Federal prosecutors charged the 54-year-old Kelly, with leading an entourage of managers, bodyguards and others to recruit women and girls for him to have sex with and abuse and to produce pornography, including child pornography.
Kelly has pleaded not guilty to a nine-count indictment.
It includes accusations of racketeering, bribery, extortion and demanding “absolute commitment” from victims, isolating them from friends and family and requiring they call him “Daddy.”
His head now shaved, Kelly wore a blue suit and tie and light blue shirt in appearing before U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly.
Prosecutors and defense lawyers questioned dozens of potential jurors, behind closed doors and in open court.
One prospective juror was excused after saying he was raised Christian and would have “some difficulty” with testimony about sexual activity between people of the same gender.
While most of Kelly’s accusers are women, Donnelly has said an alleged male victim can testify that Kelly sexually abused him.