R. Kelly verdict: Responsible of all prices in racketeering and intercourse trafficking trial

A New York jury on Monday discovered R&B singer R. Kelly responsible on all prices in his trial on racketeering and intercourse trafficking prices. Kelly, whose actual title is Robert Sylvester Kelly, may face many years in jail.

Kelly, 54, was accused by a number of witnesses of concentrating on, grooming and exploiting younger ladies and men “for his personal sexual gratification” and operating a “intercourse cult” by trafficking folks throughout state traces. He additionally allegedly bribed a authorities employee to assist him marry late R&B singer Aaliyah when she was 15 years previous. 

“Right now’s verdict brings an finish to Robert Kelly’s decade-long reign of terror over many weak ladies, boys and younger ladies,” Pete Fitzhugh, Particular Agent in Cost for Homeland Safety investigations in New York, mentioned Monday after the decision was introduced. “With this verdict, it’s my honest hope that it’s going to additionally start the therapeutic course of for these courageous survivors.”

The jury in Brooklyn federal courtroom started deliberations on Friday, September 24, after listening to from 50 witnesses all through the trial, solely 5 of whom testified for the protection. Accusers testified that Kelly managed their day-to-day lives, together with after they may use the restroom, and compelled them to finish sexual acts. 

Throughout Monday’s courtroom session, Kelly was described as stoic and impassive, solely transferring to shake his head “no” at some statements being made about him. 

He was charged with one depend of racketeering, encompassing 14 particular acts, and eight counts of violating the Mann Act for allegedly coercing and transporting victims throughout state traces.

Courtroom sketch exhibits R. Kelly in federal courtroom in Brooklyn, New York, as a jury convicted him on all prices in his racketeering and intercourse abuse trial on Sept. 27, 2021.

Christine Cornell

“Of all of the predators I’ve pursued … Mr. Kelly is the worst,” legal professional Gloria Allred, who represented lots of Kelly’s victims, mentioned Monday. “R. Kelly thought he may get away with this, however he did not. I’m very pleased with my shoppers who agreed to testify on this case.”

Allred additionally learn a press release from one of many ladies, recognized as Sonya: “I have been hiding from Robert Kelly in worry as a consequence of threats made in opposition to me and I”m prepared to start out dwelling my life free from worry and to start out the therapeutic course of,” she mentioned. “I wish to thank the jury for contemplating the proof and actually listening to my testimony.” 

Exterior of the courthouse, followers of Kelly gathered as the decision was introduced, enjoying his largest hits loudly. 

In closing arguments final week, Assistant U.S. Lawyer Elizabeth Geddes mentioned Kelly “used lies, manipulation, threats and bodily abuse to dominate his victims” and took benefit of his “cash and public persona to cover his crimes in plain sight.”

Kelly himself by no means took the stand. He has denied wrongdoing and his attorneys mentioned the allegations have been nothing greater than “lie after lie after lie” from “disgruntled groupies” making an attempt to convey him down. 

However prosecutors mentioned Kelly adopted “the predator playbook.” He “believed the music, the celebrity and the superstar meant he may do no matter he needed,” Assistant U.S. Lawyer Nadia Shihata mentioned in a fiery rebuttal to the protection’s closing arguments. 

“He isn’t a genius, he is a prison. A predator,” she mentioned. 

Identified for his profitable music profession, Kelly spent many years constructing himself up as a top-notch producer in addition to artist. The Chicago native has been nominated for 26 Grammys, successful 3 times in 1997 for “I Imagine I Can Fly.” He additionally produced Aaliyah’s debut album, “Age Ain’t Nothing However A Quantity.”

This is not the primary time Kelly has been in bother with the regulation. In 2002, he was indicted on 21 counts of kid pornography. He may have confronted as much as 15 years in jail however left a five-week trial a free man — he was cleared on all counts. Allegations of intercourse trafficking and sleeping with underaged people have continued to comply with him by way of his profession. 

In an explosive 2019 CBS interview with Gayle King, Kelly denied the entire allegations in opposition to him, as an alternative claiming the torrent of accusations have been a part of a grand conspiracy concentrating on him. 

“Imagine me, man! This isn’t me! They mendacity on me! They’re mendacity on me! I am cool, bro,” he screamed. 

“I am cool. I am good. I am not afraid as a result of I am telling the reality. I am not afraid as a result of I am telling the reality!”

Sentencing is now set for Could 4. Prosecutors mentioned Kelly faces a compulsory minimal of 10 years behind bars and will stand up to life in jail.

It’s unclear how different instances being pursued in opposition to him in different states will play out. Authorized contributor Jessica Levinson instructed CBS Information’ Norah O’Donnell that the singer may simply face further civil lawsuits from his many victims. 

The Related Press contributed reporting.

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