Singer-songwriter R. Kelly has been found guilty on all nine counts in his sex trafficking case.
As per Variety, the singer was found guilty of leading a decades-long scheme to recruit women and underage girls for sex in New York on Monday, with the jury declaring him guilty of all nine counts of racketeering and sex-trafficking charges against him. The jury, consisting of seven men and five women, convicted Kelly of racketeering and eight violations of an anti-sex trafficking law after nine hours of deliberations in federal court in Brooklyn.
The 54-year-old singer faces the possibility of decades in prison, an attorney for Kelly told CNN they are considering filing an appeal and are disappointed in the verdict. Kelly’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 4, 2022.
The verdict followed a trial that began on August 18 and included 50 witnesses. In the trial, Kelly faced federal counts of human trafficking, racketeering, child pornography, kidnapping and forced labour.
The ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ singer allegedly asked his victims to follow numerous rules in which they “were not permitted to leave their room without receiving permission, including to eat or go to the bathroom,” were “not permitted to look at other men” and “were required to call Kelly ‘Daddy.'”
Kelly was also accused of “engaging in sexual activity with girls under 18 years old,” failing to disclose “a sexually transmitted disease Kelly had contracted” and producing child pornography by requesting that underage girls send him photographs.
The music star denied all allegations against him and pleaded not guilty. During the trial, the prosecution sought to prove that not only is Kelly a predator, but his team has long enabled his behaviour.
This verdict comes 13 years after Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges in Illinois. He faces further charges in Illinois. He also faces charges in other states including Minnesota.
In January 2019, Lifetime released the docuseries titled ‘Surviving R. Kelly’, which brought renewed attention to the allegations against the singer and prompted calls for an official investigation.