R&B singer R. Kelly was convicted of racketeering and trafficking in his six-week sexual abuse trial in which 11 accusers took positions on crimes committed over two decades. He faces the rest of his life behind bars.
On Monday, after two days of deliberation, a Brooklyn court returned a guilty verdict for 54-year-old singer Robert Sylvester Kelly, known by his stage name R. Kelly. In addition to eight sex trafficking accounts, the R&B star has been convicted of racketeering, a crime normally reserved for organized crime syndicates.
“Sir. Kelly is disappointed. He was not anticipating this verdict because, based on the evidence, why should he anticipate this verdict?” Defense attorney Deveraux Cannick told media.
He was found guilty on all the charges he faced. Among his accusers were nine women and two men. The singer – perhaps most famous for the award-winning song “I Believe I Can Fly” and the 2010 FIFA World Cup song – has been charged with a plethora of deplorable criminal activity.
The jury said Kelly was the leader of a violent and coercive group that attracted women and children to sexual abuse. He was also found to have trafficked women across the United States for prostitution and produced child pornography.
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Many of his victims were chosen at concerts and some were urged to join his entourage with the promise that he would help them in their young musical career. Once in Kelly’s circle, they were forced to obey strict laws, dubbed “Rob’s Rules” by his team.
“I am ready to start living my life without fear and to begin the healing process” said a woman who testified that Kelly had jailed, drugged and raped her. The woman, known only as Sonja, said she had “hiddenFrom the singer because of threats made since she made her accusations public.
Gloria Allred, a lawyer who has represented some of the victims said “Kelly is the worst” of all the sexual predators she had pursued in her 47-year career.
Several of the allegations were originally made public in the 2019 documentary “Surviving R. Kelly”. Monday’s verdict comes 13 years after Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges following a trial in Illinois.
His conviction will take place on May 4, 2022. He faces life imprisonment.
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