The “Where” is easier than the “Who” or the “When.”
Lisa Van Allen Monday became the seventh witness at R. Kelly’s child pornography trial to testify about the notorious “log cabin room” where they believe the R&B superstar videotaped himself engaging in sex acts with his goddaughter when the girl was as young as 13.
The room is in the basement of a home Kelly used to own in Lake View. The house also has a small indoor basketball court. Van Allen testified that Kelly had or attempted three-way sex with her and his then-underaged goddaughter in both rooms in late 1998 when the goddaughter would have been 14 years old.
The log cabin room’s distinctive blonde half-log paneling serves as the back-drop for both the tape at the heart of this case and, sources say, also for another tape of Kelly and another young-looking girl. That video was included on bootleg versions of the R. Kelly sex tape available on the street.
The jurors will not see that other video because law enforcement authorities do not know if the girl in that encounter was underage at the time the footage was shot.
Some called the room the “hot tub room.” Others called it “the Colorado room.” The best friend of the girl prosecutors say appears in the videotape called it the “sauna room.” After she used those wordson the stand, Kelly shook his head and whispered something to his lead attorney.
When Kelly’s attorneys put on their case, they can argue that the man in the tape only looks like Kelly, the girl only looks like Kelly’s goddaughter and the room only looks like the hot tub room in Kelly’s old house.
But prosecutors have been trying during the first two weeks to lay a solid foundation that looks are not deceiving in the tape. While prosecutors do not know when the tape was made, they have introduced one law enforcement officer after another to testify to what they believe is the exact address of the Lake View house Kelly owned, where witnesses said his goddaughter spent time.
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