New York – R KellyThe R&B singer, who rose to fame in the 1990s, has been found guilty of all charges related to racketeering and sex trafficking after a trial at the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse.
After nine hours of deliberation, a jury of seven men and five women found Kelly guilty of one count of racketeering and eight counts of violation of the Mann Act, which prohibits the transportation of persons across state lines for the purpose of prostitution. Is.
The charge of racketeering involved 14 separate acts. To be found guilty of racketeering, the prosecution had to prove those two acts before a jury. The jury found Kelly guilty of 12 out of 14 acts, meaning he was found guilty of excessively charged with racketeering.
Kelly was wearing a navy blue suit with pinstripes and a light blue tie as soon as the all-guilty verdict came. The R&B singer showed a little emotion and kept his head down while wearing a white mask to protect himself from COVID-19.
Eastern judgment was delivered at around 3:15 p.m. Monday during the seventh week of the trial.
“Today’s guilty verdict forever brands R. Kelly as a stalker who used his fame and fortune to hunt down the young, the vulnerable, and the voiceless for his own gratification,” Jacqueline Kasulis, New York Acting Counsel for the Eastern District of the United States said during the press conference after the verdict.
Sentencing is set for May 4, 2022 at 10 a.m. Eastern.
“We are disappointed with the verdict,” defense attorney Deveraux Canick said outside the courtroom. When asked whether the defense would appeal the decision, Canick replied: “I’m sure we’ll look into it.”
Sonja, one of the survivors at the center of the case, issued a statement following the guilty verdict, writing that she was “thankfully the jury listened to us.” “I’m hiding from Robert Kelly out of fear, the threats made against me, and I’m ready to live my life free of fear and begin the healing process,” she wrote.
Gloria Allred, representing three of the six victims centered in the case, issued a statement following the announcement of the verdict.
“Mr. Kelly, who once described himself as a ‘genius’ to one of my clients, is nothing more than a convicted felon,” the statement read. “R. Kelly thought he could get away with it all, but he didn’t, because despite the fact that he thought he could control all his victims, he was wrong.
Following the verdict, many of Kelly’s supporters gathered outside the courthouse as their music played, some with tears rolling down their faces. Among them was 36-year-old DeAngelo Brewster, who identified himself as the singer’s godson and said he would be traveling from Chicago for the trial. He said he was “shocked” by the jury’s decision and was looking forward to an appeal.
“I think prosecutors used a lot of these witnesses’ stories without any sort of evidence to support their stories, they just say, he says, and they’re going to try to convict that person.” have been,” he said, comparing Kelly to the infamous actor bill cosby.
During the trial that began in mid-August, the jury heard the testimony of 50 witnesses; 45 were called by the prosecution and only five were called by the defence. Of the 45 witnesses who testified for the prosecution, 11 were accusers, six of whom testified that they were underage when Kelly first abused them. Witnesses to the defense included a former security guard, Kelly’s accountant, and a visiting artist who he says worked with Kelly for more than a decade.
The testimonies of eight Jane Doe and two John Doe were the most memorable parts of the trial. Almost all accusers described a terrifying atmosphere of control and fear of being in an abusive relationship. With R&B singer. Many testified that Kelly enforced strict rules that included calling him “Daddy”, physically thrashing him, and the clothes he wore, what he ate and where he was allowed to travel. Was. a gen doe where kelly punished him While he was writing to her, his face and mouth began to rub his feces.
One victim said of Kelly during her testimony, “He can instill in me the fear of God very quickly.”
At the center of the government’s case were six Jane Du referred to as Stephanie, Sonja, Gerhonda, Jane, Faith and Alia, the first five to take the stand to testify about the alleged physical, sexual and emotional abuse. of R&B singer. Alia was the only victim not to take a stand since her death in a plane crash in 2001. Prosecutors said three of the six, including Aaliyah, were minors when Kelly began abusing them.
Two John Does also took the stand and testified. A man named Louis said that Kelly sexually abused him when he was 17. The second John Doe, Alex, testified that at the age of 20 he began having sex with Kelly and others under Kelly’s direction.
Kelly’s defense attorneys repeatedly portrayed the accusers as liars, stalkers and gangsters, dismissing their claims of physical and sexual abuse as a way to extort money from Kelly. “Many people watched ‘Surviving R. Kelly,’ and now many people are Surviving R. Kelly,” Canick said in the closing statement, referring to the explosive Lifetime documentary series that drew public attention to Kelly’s alleged crimes. brought the attention back.
Kelly’s criminal case in New York is only the first of his upcoming court battles. He is also facing several other sexual abuse charges, including a federal case in Chicago and two local cases in Chicago and Michigan.
Improvement: A previous version of this story erroneously stated that sentencing was set for May 4, 2021.
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