Mr Kelly’s lawyers have depicted his accusers as a gang of women seeking vengeance after their romances with the R&B singer ended.
The prosecution case concluded on Monday, but the star’s defense got off to a rough start when they abruptly dropped a list of possible witnesses.
Three new witnesses were called instead, one of whom was unable to appear in court. Mr Kelly’s attorneys said they were “deliberately looking for funding” to bring that person to New York.
Dhanai Ramnanan, an aspiring vocalist who has worked with Mr Kelly since 2005, was the first to testify.
He called Kelly “a mentor” and “a good buddy,” adding that he had never seen him verbally assault a lady or prevent someone from eating or using the restroom.
“Whenever we went to a restaurant, they’d seat first, order first, and get to eat first,” he added of the star’s female companions. “Gallantry,” says the narrator.
On cross-examination, a prosecutor, Maria Cruz Melendez, attempted to prove that the witness was not very close to Mr Kelly and only wanted to be on his good side in order to develop his own music career.
Larry Hood, a retired Chicago police officer and Mr Kelly’s childhood buddy, testified that he had never seen the singer hang around with underage girls.
“As a cop, I would have had to intervene,” he testified in court.
“There was never a time when I needed to act. Any impropriety was never revealed to me.”He did, however, admit to seeing “little Aaliyah” and a bunch of her “hype ladies” when she first met Mr Kelly in the early 1990s, when he was cross-examined.
“Yeah, approximately,” he said when asked if she was 12 or 13. “She was a young lady, yes,” he added.
A witness named Angela told the court last week that she saw Mr Kelly perform a sex act on Aaliyah when she was 13 or 14 years old, making her the youngest claimed victim of his abuse.
Mr Hood said he only found out about Mr Kelly’s illicit marriage to Aaliyah, 15, “later in life.”
Judge Ann M. Donnelly has stated that she expects the jury to begin deliberations by the end of the week
Mr Kelly’s lawyers say they want to summon roughly a half-dozen additional witnesses, including an investigator, an accountant, and a friend of Jerhonda Pace, the first complainant to testify in the case.
Mr Kelly’s name did not appear on the list. In an angry and tearful TV interview, the actor earlier protested his innocence, possibly making his lawyers fearful of a similar outburst in court.
Whatever the outcome of the Brooklyn trial, the singer faces a second trial in Chicago for child pornography and obstruction, as well as sex abuse accusations in Illinois and Minnesota.