R. Kelly, the iconic R&B crooner, was convicted Monday on all counts in a sex trafficking trial.
The conviction follows decades of numerous allegations of sexual misconduct with young women and children. He was previously acquired of child pornography charges in 2008.
According to the Associated Press, a jury of seven men and five women found the 54-year-old guilty on nine counts including racketeering and violating the Mann Act, which makes it illegal to take anyone across state lines “for any immoral purpose.”
Kelly had his face mask on and his eyes were downcast as the verdict was read. The verdict comes just four days after the prosecution and defense presented their closing arguments.
“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,” acting U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulis said in a statement to NBC News. “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.”
R. Kelly found guilty on ALL COUNTS
— US Attorney EDNY (@EDNYnews) September 27, 2021
Deveraux Cannick, one of R.Kelly’s lawyers, told the Associated Press that he was disappointed in the verdict and is considering an appeal.
“I think I’m even more disappointed the government brought the case in the first place, given all the inconsistencies,” Cannick said.
Decades of allegations
Kelly, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, has been in custody mostly since he was formally charged in 2019. He pleaded not guilty in all the charges and did not take the stand in his own defense, according to NBC. Several accusers testified and disturbing details were discussed, including his alleged, inappropriate relationship with Aaliyah when she was still a teenager.
There have been allegations for decades against R. Kelly. Movements such as #MeToo and the 2019 Lifetime documentary, Surviving R. Kelly, gave them a more speculating light. The group, #MuteRKelly tweeted, “We hope this verdict brings some sense of justice to the brave survivors who came forward.
R. Kelly faces up to 20 years in prison. His sentencing is set for May 4, 2022.
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