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Reporter refuses to testify at R. Kelly trial

  • Story Highlights
  • Chicago Sun-Times music writer refuses to testify about sex tape
  • Judge backs off threat to jail Jim DeRogatis
  • Newspaper's lawyers say reporter protected by 1st , 5th Amendment rights
  • DeRogatis gave police copy of sex tape at center of R. Kelly trial
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CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- A Chicago Sun-Times reporter isn't going to answer questions at R. Kelly's child pornography trial.

R. Kelly is accused of making a home sex video with an underage girl at his child pornography trial.

Jim DeRogatis cited an Illinois law that governs reporters' rights and the First and Fifth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution in refusing to answer questions Wednesday.

DeRogatis read the statement more than a dozen times in response to questions, including whether he once made a copy of the sex tape at the center of the trial.

Defense attorneys have said that copying the tape would have been a crime.

After DeRogatis' 10 minutes on the stand, Judge Vincent Gaughan said reporters' privileges don't apply. But the judge ruled that DeRogatis doesn't have to testify based on his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

DeRogatis received a sex tape in 2002, then turned it over to authorities. Prosecutors say the 27-minute tape shows Kelly having sex with an underage girl and have charged him with child pornography.

Kelly, 41, has pleaded not guilty to 14 counts of child pornography. Lawyers for Kelly, who faces 15 years in prison if convicted, say he is not on the video. They have also suggested his likeness may have been computer generated.


The judge said defense attorneys can't ask DeRogatis about his duties as a reporter, including about his sources.

Kelly attorney Marc Martin said Tuesday that the defense does not want to ask DeRogatis about his sources, but about whether he made a copy of the sex tape and later viewed it with a relative of the alleged victim in the case.

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