apropos of nothing

R. Kelly Trial Scandalized by Sex-Tape Mix-up

Photo: Getty Images

R. Kelly’s child-pornography trial was rocked yesterday when it was revealed that a DVD of the infamous sex tape given to Kelly’s lawyers by the prosecution two weeks ago was not an exact copy, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. Though the defense did have access to the original tape, they were assured by the state attorney’s office that the lower-quality DVD was identical and thus fit to use in their questioning of forensic-video analyst Charles Palm last week (Palm testified that a mole on Kelly’s back was not visible in still frames of the video shown to the jury, though he says he based his original opinions on the original, higher-quality version).

Prosecution lawyer Robert Heilingoetter acknowledged the mistake and also that the DVD was made by “a junior member of the state’s attorney’s staff” and not video analyst Grant Fredericks as they’d originally claimed. The defense is now worried the jury will think they acted in “bad faith” by using the degraded video, and Judge Vincent Gaughan says that this is a “rotten tomato in the barrel,” though it’s currently unclear what the hell that means, exactly. Is any of this grounds for a mistrial? We’ve never seen anything like this on Law & Order, so we have no idea. But, as far as sex-tape mix-ups go, this sounds like a pretty big one.

Rotten tomato hits R. Kelly trial [Kelly Chronicles/ Chicago Sun-Times]

R. Kelly Trial Scandalized by Sex-Tape Mix-up