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Testimony to continue in the third week

Federal prosecutors could rest their case in chief against R. Kelly this week as the disgraced R&B singer’s trial moves into its second half.

Before the prosecution rests, jurors are expected to hear from four more women who say Kelly sexually abused them when they were underage. The trial’s first week focused on another Kelly accuser, “Jane,” who identified herself as the girl being sexually abused by Kelly in three separate videos from the 1990s.

One of those videos became the subject of Kelly’s 2008 Cook County trial, during which he was acquitted of child-pornography charges — because, prosecutors now allege, Kelly and his associates went to great lengths to keep “Jane” quiet and recover other incriminating footage .

Witnesses last week largely focused on those efforts. Three people tested that Kelly’s team paid them to bring him videos of his homemade child pornography while he was awaiting his Cook County trial. Defense attorneys, during lengthy cross-examinations, have challenged their stories as inconsistent and tried to paint them as unreliable extortionists.

Kelly, 55, is charged with 13 counts of production of child pornography, conspiracy to produce child pornography and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Also on trial are former Kelly associates Derrel McDavid and Milton “June” Brown, who, according to the indictment, schemed to buy back incriminating sex tapes that had been taken from Kelly’s collection and hide years of alleged sexual abuse of underage girls.

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