Jerhonda Pace: R Kelly victim reveals horrific sexual abuse at 16
Trigger warning: Content relates to sexual violence and assault
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: Prosecutors in New York began their case against musician R Kelly who is facing charges after a woman testified that the R&B singer sexually abused her when she was 16 years old and that she has a T-shirt with his semen on it, news outlets reported on Thursday, August 17.
MEAWW has reported extensively on the allegations against the Grammy-winning singer which surfaced first in 2020. Apart from completely controlling his victims' minds and lives, R. Kelly, who is facing multiple counts of underage rape charges, was also rumored to want one of his victims to look more like a boy because he was secretly attracted to the same sex.
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Kelly, who is currently held at the city's notorious Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) awaiting trial, was taken into custody in Chicago on 10 charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse tied to allegations that the once high-flying singer sexually abused four women, three of whom were allegedly minors at the time. The singer, now 54, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, pleaded not guilty and was released on $100,000 bail after two nights in jail after the judge in the case set his bond at $1 million.
Kelly was re-arrested by NYPD detectives and Homeland Security officers in Chicago on July 11, 2019, and indicted by a federal grand jury on federal charges alleging additional sex crimes, with federal prosecutors in New York and Chicago charging Kelly with kidnapping, forced labour, child sexual exploitation, child pornography production, and obstruction of justice, Billboard reported. Over the decades of allegations surrounding Kelly, Jerhonda Johnson Pace's testimony in Federal District Court in Brooklyn this week on Wednesday, August 18, marked the first time one of his alleged victims has ever testified in a criminal case.
DAY TWO of the case against #RKelly begins w/ testimony & cross examination of Jerhonda Pace (Jane #4). Defense attorney Deveraux Cannick is questioning her about the times she lied about her age when she was a teen. Pace shared her story publicly on ‘Surviving R Kelly’ @CourtTV pic.twitter.com/KJEp80BZJQ— Julia Jenaé (@JuliaCourtTV) August 19, 2021
Who is Jerhonda Pace?
Jerhonda Johnson is a 28-year-old mother-of-four with another one on the way, due "any day." Her married name is Jerhonda Pace. She was such a fan of Kelly's that his 2008 Chicago trial for state child pornography charges, which he was eventually acquitted of in June, drew her to attend the singer's trial.
Jerhonda, then a 15-year-old sophomore from Chicago's south suburbs, skipped school every day in that year to attend Kelly's 14-count child pornography trial. Johnson was quoted in national media stories defending her musical idol and the R&B superstar had no bigger fan, Buzzfeed News reported.
Earlier this morning during direct exam, Jerhonda Pace testified that #RKelly recorded their sexual intercourse—requested she dress as a girl scout in pig tails during sex and that she later contracted herpes. #RKellyTrial @CourtTV @JoyCourtTV pic.twitter.com/En81xooNIF— Julia Jenaé (@JuliaCourtTV) August 19, 2021
'I told him I was 19. I was 16.'
Kelly's DNA was discovered in semen on the T-shirt, said Assistant US Attorney Maria Cruz Melendez in her opening statement on Wednesday, CNN reported. Pace "is a self-proclaimed liar," Kelly's attorney Nicole Blank Becker said in her opening statement. But Pace's previously unreported detailed and well-documented story of accepting cash settlements from the star in exchange for signing nondisclosure agreements exemplifies how Kelly has been able to silence young women he has allegedly wronged.
Pace, who was one of the women featured in the Lifetime documentary 'Surviving R. Kelly,' claimed that Kelly urged her to pack a bathing suit when he brought her to his house in 2009. "I told him I was 19," she testified. "I was 16." Kelly told Pace to go by him and take off sections of her bathing suit that day at his house, and he performed oral sex on her when she was nude, according to Pace. She stated that she felt uneasy and chose to reveal her true age. Pace testified, "I told him I was actually 16."
Accuser Jerhonda Pace testified yesterday about #RKelly’s strict rules for his girlfriends (ask permission to use the bathroom, wear baggy clothes around other men.) On cross today the defense presented a photo of her in tight clothes while at Kelly’s house in 2009/2010. @courttv pic.twitter.com/5JFOHrNOig— Julia Jenaé (@JuliaCourtTV) August 19, 2021
'Part of Rob's rules'
Pace said that she handed Kelly her state ID showing her true age, to which he replied, "What is that supposed to mean?" Kelly advised Pace she should "continue to tell everyone she was 19 and act 21," according to Pace. Pace stated that when she told him she was a virgin, Kelly responded with "that's good." He made her perform oral sex on him, she claimed, and he took her virginity. Pace claimed that she had a six-month sexual relationship with Kelly when she was 16 years old, and that she would be unable to leave rooms at his home in the Chicago suburbs at times.
"I wasn't supposed to tell anyone I was spending time with him," Pace testified. She also gave testimony that Kelly confiscated her phone. "He didn't want me in contact with anyone but him," Pace explained. "We were not able to leave out of the rooms. It was a part of the rules. Rob's rules," Pace said, using the singer's first name.
Jerhonda Pace just read aloud the entry from her journal on Jan. 23, her last day with R. Kelly after he allegedly choked her till she passed out.— julia reinstein 🚡 (@juliareinstein) August 19, 2021
For the first time in her testimony, she became visibly emotional, quietly sobbing before reading this entry: pic.twitter.com/Xr1kJeWE4N
'He wanted me to dress like a girl scout'
“He wanted me to put my hair up in pigtails and dress like a Girl Scout,” Pace said according to the New York Times. Kelly would frequently request the outfit before photographing their sexual sessions with a tripod-mounted camera, she claimed. She testified that the two had a minor quarrel about basketball on one occasion. Kelly was a fan of the Chicago Bulls, but she disagreed and stated she preferred the Cleveland Cavaliers. “He responded by slapping me,” she said, “and told me I was disrespecting him.”
Kelly slapped and choked Pace until she passed out after she failed to greet him when he entered a room, which was one of the regulations she was required to obey. Kelly allegedly spit in her face and then forced her to perform a sex act on him minutes later, according to her. Pace claimed she cleaned Kelly's sperm with a blue Aéropostale shirt during their final meeting, which she turned over to lawyers shortly after stopping things with him. That clothing was entered into evidence by prosecutors on Wednesday, August 18 and it is expected to play a critical role in jurors' understanding of her narrative.