R. Kelly’s Attorneys Score Partial Comeback

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rkelly-june-9.jpg(The VH1 Blog has solicited Mark Muro of the California law firm Muro & Lampe, Inc. to keep tabs on the R. Kelly child pornography trial.)

The defense fought back on Friday with a series of witnesses who were friends or family to the alleged victim, and who testified that the girl in the sex tape is not the alleged victim. Although the defense scored some points with this contradictory testimony, I think it’s likely that the identification issue still favors the prosecution. There is an obvious motive to protect the alleged victim by denying her involvement in the tape, but not so clearly a motive for identifying her as a victim against her wishes. Still, the defense may have created a reasonable doubt. (+1 for the defense.)

The defense also called famed celebrity private investigator Jack Palladino, who is perhaps best known for his role in attempting to discredit women with whom Bill Clinton was allegedly intimate. Other famous clients include Courtney Love and Mariah Carey. Palladino testified that he thwarted an extortion attempt by Lisa Van Allen, who last week gave testimony about her threesome with Kelly and the alleged victim. According to Palladino, he had a meeting with Allen and her fiancee (Yul Brown), and was informed that Allen had a $300,000 deal to write a tell all book about Kelly. Palladino interpreted this as an attempt at extortion. Palladino also shed light on Brown’s past criminal history, including fraud, drug and weapons convictions. While Palladino’s testimony did some damage to Allen’s credibility, it might not have been enough to convince any of the jurors that Allen’s testimony in the courtroom was motivated by a failed extortion attempt. (No points.)

Finally, the defense called its own forensic video expert Charles Palm to counter the testimony given last week by prosecution forensic video expert, Grant Fredericks. According to Palm, the images upon which Fredericks relied were of such a poor quality that Fredericks’ testimony was unreliable, and in his opinion, the mark claimed to be a mole on the sex tape was merely residue and shadowing that is not present in all frames. Not only that, but in his opinion, the tape had been digitally altered. In sharp contrast to Fredericks’ testimony that it would take 44 years to manufacture the 27-minute tape, Palm testified that it is relatively easy to fabricate the tape. To illustrate his point, he showed the portions of the tape he manipulated, including a man having sex with a headless girl. Instead of 44 years, these manipulations only took Palm a few hours in his spare time. I’m betting the jury will decide for themselves whether the spot on the sex tape is a mole or a video distortion, but the demonstration of how easily video can be manipulated scored points for the defense because this case relies so heavily on one tape. (+2 for the defense.) – Mark Muro, Attorney

Overall Score: Defense: +3; Prosecution: +6