Chicago R. Kelly bowed his head and wept Friday as he was cleared of child pornography charges, acquitted by a jury that deliberated for just 7 1/2 hours over a case that took six years to bring to trial.
Wiping tears from his face with a blue silk handkerchief, Kelly clasped his attorneys' hands and prayed as he was cleared on all 14 counts in the indictment.
"Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus," Kelly said softly as the clerk read off each not-guilty.
Prosecutors simply couldn't persuade jurors that the female in the sex videotape was the R&B; superstar's then-underage goddaughter, a girl who would have been as young as 13 at the time the tape was made.
Many jurors believed Kelly was the man in the tape, but they couldn't be sure that his goddaughter was the female. Without her testimony, the panel relied on a low-quality VHS tape and still photographs to determine the two participants' identities.