Singer R Kelly cleared of making child sex video

The R&B superstar R Kelly has been cleared of making child pornography after a month-long trial which boiled down to whether a man filmed having sex with an underage girl had a mole on his back.

Mr Kelly was charged six years ago after a graphic videotape allegedly showing him having sex with a 13-year-old girl was handed to Chicago police.

After six hours of deliberations, the jury in Chicago yesterday pronounced the singer not guilty on all 14 charges.

As the verdict was read out, Mr Kelly, 41, dabbed his face with a handkerchief and hugged each of his four lawyers. He could have faced a 15-year jail sentence had he been convicted.

Both Mr Kelly and the girl, now aged 23, had denied they were the people in the 27-minute film. Mr Kelly's defence team argued that it could not have been him on the tape, as he had a large mole on his back and the man in the video did not.

The issue of whether the alleged victim was the girl in the film was also subject to contradictions from witnesses, including relatives and childhood friends.

Mr Kelly, whose real first name is Robert, rose from poverty in Chicago to become a singer, songwriter and producer, winning a Grammy in 1997 for "I Believe I Can Fly". He is also known for raunchy hits such as "Bump N' Grind".

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