Popular American musician, Robert Kelly, popularly known as R. Kelly might spend the remaining part of life in jail after a jury of seven men and five women found him guilty of racketeering.
The judgment came after two days of deliberation and a five-week-long trial featuring lurid testimony.
The popular act was also accused of sex trafficking. The verdict on those charges hasn’t be released yet.
According to prosecutors, the storm is over star allegedly orchestrated a sex crimes ring for nearly three decades. He faces between 10 years and life in prison.
The jury began deliberating federal racketeering and sex trafficking charges against the superstar on Friday in Brooklyn. This occurred after prosecutors and defense attorneys finished their closing arguments.
The 54 was accused of running a Chicago-based criminal enterprise that prosecutors say he used to ‘target, groom and exploit girls, boys and women’ for unwanted sex and mental torment.
According to witnesses, Kelly subjected them to perverse and sadistic whims when they were underage. All these have been denied by him.
The charges were first brought in a five-count superseding indictment in Brooklyn federal court in July 2019 before being slapped in March 2020 with additional charges upgrading the case to a nine-count indictment.
All the charges relate to allegations involving six alleged victims – five women named as Jane Does in the indictment and the singer Aaliyah. These charges are:
The racketeering charge includes 14 underlying acts including one act of bribery, three acts of sexual exploitation of a child, one act of kidnapping, three acts of forced labor and six acts of violating the Mann Act. Kelly is accused of running a racketeering ‘enterprise’ for two decades made up of his ‘inner circle’ of managers, bodyguards and other employees. They helped him recruit women, girls, and boys for him to sexually exploit and traffic them around the US.
To convict Kelly on the racketeering charge, he must be found guilty of at least two of the 14 acts.
The Mann Act is a federal law that makes it illegal to traffic people across state lines for prostitution or illegal sexual activity. Four of these charges relate to an incident involving Jane Doe #5 in 2015 while the other four involve Jane Doe #6 in separate incidents in May 2017 and February 2018.
Three of these charges involve Kelly allegedly exposing the two women to herpes without informing them.
The jurors delivered guilty verdict following 21 days of evidence including 50 witnesses and hours of searing testimony.
Disturbing testimony intended to prove those acts included accusations of rape, druggings, imprisonment and child pornography.
Kelly was also charged with multiple violations of the Mann Act, which makes it illegal to transport anyone across state lines ‘for any immoral purpose.’
Throughout the trial, prosecutors argued that Kelly’s accusers were ‘indoctrinated’ into his world, groomed for sex and kept in line by ‘coercive means of control’ including isolation and cruel disciplinarily measures.
They argued that Kelly, with the help of members of his entourage, used tactics from ‘the predator playbook’ to sexually exploit his victims.
‘The defendant set rules, lots of them, and he demanded complete obedience. That meant ‘for many years what happened in the defendant’s world stayed in the defendant´s world. But no longer,” Assistant US Attorney Elizabeth Geddes said during closing statements.
Many of his accusers shared stories echoing that tone, saying they met the singer at concerts or mall performances, and were handed slips of paper with Kelly’s contact by his entourage.
Several said they were told he could help them achieve careers in the music industry.
In order to avoid damaged cross-examination, the singer did not testify in his own defense during the trial, likely to avoid a damaging cross-examination.
In ther argument, thie defense, argued that his accusers lied in their testimonies and that Kelly was a ‘sex symbol’ and ‘playboy’ who was being attacked by scorned exes and money-hungry fans.
Defense attorney Deveraux Cannick told the jury there was no evidence Kelly’s accusers were ever forced to do anything against their will.
He also noted that the accusers — also known as Kelly’s girlfriends — maintained a relationship with him because he spoiled them with travel, shopping sprees and five-star dining and other luxuries.
‘He gave them a lavish lifestyle,’ he said. ‘That’s not what a predator is supposed to do.’
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