R Kelly Found Guilty In Sex Trafficking Trial
R Kelly, a popular US singer, was found guilty of running a two-decade-long scheme to exploit his celebrity to sexually abuse women and children.
During the six-week trial, eleven accusers, nine women and two men, testified about sexual humiliation and violence at his hands.
Kelly was found guilty on all charges by the jury after two days of deliberation.
The sentencing date is set for May 4th. He could be imprisoned for the rest of his life.
Prosecutors accused Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, of luring victims in with promises to help their musical careers. Several of his victims testified that he sexually abused them when they were minors.
He was also convicted of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits interstate sex trafficking.
In contrast to the convictions of other celebrities such as comedian Bill Cosby and film producer Harvey Weinstein, the majority of the victims who assisted in Kelly’s conviction were black.
According to reports, Kelly sat motionless at his desk as the verdict was read aloud in court.
His expression was obscured by a face mask he was forced to wear due to the judge’s pandemic rules.
Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges 13 years ago after a trial in the state of Illinois.
Many of the allegations were made public for the first time in the 2019 documentary Surviving R Kelly.
Accusers were sometimes chosen from his concert audiences, or they were enticed to join him after being offered assistance with their fledgling music careers after meeting the singer.
However, once they joined his entourage, they discovered that they were subjected to strict rules and were aggressively punished if they broke what his team had dubbed “Rob’s rules.”
Kelly was found guilty of racketeering, a charge usually reserved for organized crime organizations, in addition to sex trafficking.
During the federal trial, the court also heard how he illegally obtained paperwork to marry underage singer Aaliyah, who died in a plane crash in August 2001, changing his marriage to Kelly at the age of 15.
“The long arm of the law will catch up with you, no matter how long it takes,” Assistant US prosecutor Elizabeth Geddes said outside the court after the verdict was read.
Kelly is also facing child pornography and obstruction charges in Chicago. In addition, he is scheduled to face sex abuse charges in Illinois and Minnesota.
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