R. Kelly has been found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking charges and could face decades in prison.
R. Kelly’s trial began on August 28 and has lingered with 15 victims testifying against the singer on charges bothering on racketeering and sex trafficking.
The 54-year-old singer was convicted by a federal jury in New York on Monday after he was accused by multiple witnesses of targeting, grooming and exploiting young women and men “for his own sexual gratification” and running a “sex cult” by trafficking people across state lines.
The jury of seven men and five women also accused Kelly of bribing a government worker to help him marry late R&B singer Aaliyah when she was 15 years old.
The singer wore a face mask below black-rimmed glasses and remained motionless with eyes downcast, as the verdict was read in federal court in Brooklyn.
Prosecution witnesses accused Kelly of sexual and physical abuse, while the defense presented witnesses who said they never saw Kelly abuse women but conceded they weren’t around for much of the time Kelly was alone with female guests.
The singer was convicted on one count of racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act, the law that bars transporting people across state lines “for any immoral purpose.”
“Today’s guilty verdict forever brands R. Kelly as a predator, who used his fame and fortune to prey on the young, the vulnerable, and the voiceless for his own sexual gratification.
“To the victims in this case, your voices were heard, and justice was finally served. We hope that today’s verdict brings some measure of comfort and closure to the victims,” acting U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulis said in a statement.
R. Kelly “didn’t say much of anything” after the verdict was announced, his attorney Deveraux Cannick told reporters. “He was shocked.”
Kelly’s attorney disagreed with the verdict saying there were inconsistencies in victim’s testimonies and that the government “cherry-picked their version that they thought would support the continuation of the narrative.”
The singer is scheduled for sentencing on May 4, 2022 and may face decades in prison. He also faces charges in Illinois and Minnesota.
KanyiDaily had reported how R. Kelly was hospitalized after he was attacked in his jail cell by his fellow inmate at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in Chicago.