R Kelly Guilty Of Racketeering, Sex Trafficking
R&B singer R Kelly was found guilty Monday of racketeering and sex trafficking in New York City and now faces decades behind bars.
The 54-year-old did not have any visible reaction to the verdict when it was read in court, according to reports. He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 4, 2022.
After two days of deliberation, the jury of seven men and five women found Kelly guilty of one count of racketeering – which included 14 underlying acts including sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping and bribery – and eight counts of sex trafficking.
R Kelly: iHeartRadio.ca Music News Coverage
Nine women and two men testified during the six-week trial about how Kelly used his fame to lure them with promises of helping them in the music business. Several said they were underage when he sexually assaulted them. Some of the testimony was graphic and jurors were shown videos of sex acts that prosecutors said were non-consensual.
Prosecutors portrayed Kelly as a serial abuser who exercised “control over these victims using every trick in the predator handbook” but his defence lawyers labelled his accusers as “groupies” who “made a choice” to have relationships with Kelly.
The verdict came 13 years after Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges in Illinois and two years after the documentary Surviving R Kelly, in which several women shared their stories and Kelly's brother Bruce said his famous sibling has a “preference” for younger females that goes back decades.