“To the victims in this case, your voice has been heard and justice has finally been delivered,” Acting U.S. Attorney Jacqueline Kasulis said on Monday outside the Brooklyn Courthouse. smuggling and racketeeringAfter less than two days of deliberation.
Verdict” sends a loud message avoid sexual violenceErin Robinson, press secretary for the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, said in a statement to Granthshala. “Today’s verdict was made possible by her courage and perseverance in listening, and we thank her for her resilience during a difficult time.” Give thanks. And a very public process.”
But now that the New York trial is over, what’s next for Kelly, who faces similar charges in three federal and state cases in Illinois and Minnesota?
And what could the verdict mean for the #MeToo movement, which helped shed light on decades of abuse allegations against Kelly?
R. When will Kelly be sentenced?
Kelly, who has been jailed since his arrest in July 2019, will not be sentenced until May 4.
The singer faces the prospect of decades in prison for offenses that include violating the Mann Act, an anti-sex law that allows anyone “for any immoral purpose” to be taken across state lines. prohibits.
Michael Irving Leonard, one of Kelly’s attorneys in a similar federal case against him in Chicago, told USA Today that he was surprised by New York’s decision.
“I was optimistic that on the main charges, the racketeering charges, he would be found not guilty,” Leonard said. “The nature of a (racketeer-influenced and corruption organisation) RICO case usually directs the mafia or drug kingpins to do various (illegal) things and this is a different scenario. I didn’t think the jury would believe it (Kelly) and the band were a ‘criminal enterprise’.”
According to Leonard, a delayed sentencing date isn’t the norm for Kelly—federal judges typically impose a 90 or 120-day sentence—but it’s not unheard of and could be a result of the judge’s schedule and COVID-19 precautions.
Leonard said Kelly’s sentence would be calculated based on federal sentencing guidelines for various crimes, such as racketeering, which have recommended a maximum of 20 years.
What does the verdict mean for R. Kelly’s other trials?
The New York case is only one part of the legal crisis facing Kelly.
Singer has pleaded not guilty to similar charges in Illinois and Minnesota, and it’s not yet clear how the verdict in Brooklyn will affect those cases or when they may reach trial.
Normally, trials in the Northern District of Illinois, which has Kelly’s co-defendants, would go ahead, but nothing is certain at the moment. Kelly’s co-defendants want to move to a trial as soon as possible, possibly in January, Leonard said, and they are entitled to do so.
“All sides want a quick test date except Kelly,” Leonard said. “He is in a very different position from co-defendant Kelly, and if he were to receive a harsher sentence, it might have some effect on this trial (in Chicago). The judge agreed to wait until June to go to trial Not going to happen.”
Leonard also raises the question whether a minnesota prosecutor If the R&B star has already been sentenced to years in New York, Kelly needs to stand trial on one count.
“Is it a good use of resources to try someone who is already facing a significant sentence?” Leonard asks.
But Lynn Hecht Shafran, legal director of Legal Momentum, a longtime legal advocacy organization for women, said the decision does not mean that other state and federal prosecutions pending against Kelly will not go ahead or proceed.
“Every victim has the right to have her voice heard and get justice in her individual case,” she told USA Today.
In addition, there is tremendous political pressure to pursue sex-abuse cases among the least-reported and least-accused crimes in the country, says the Los Angeles civil attorney from the former federal prosecutor. nema rehmani, which is following the Kelly case.
“So when you tell the victims that R. Kelly is not going to get justice for the acts done against (them), it’s not going to happen to both the public and the victims,” says Rahmani.
R for #MeToo. What does Kelly’s decision mean?
According to advocates for sexual assault survivors, Kelly’s sentencing may offer hope for those who come forward with allegations, including women of color who may fear that their charges will be undermined or They will be ignored.
“We hope today’s decision empowers survivors everywhere to feel that they are not alone,” Robinson said.
For years, the public and news media were more than happy to be intimidated by allegations of inappropriate relationships with minors against the singer, which began with Kelly. Illegal marriage to R&B phenom Alia In 1994 when she was just 15 years old.
His records and concert tickets continued to be sold. Other artists continued to record her songs even after she was arrested in 2002 and accused of sexually abusing and urinating a 14-year-old girl. He was acquitted in that case in 2008.
Widespread public condemnation not until the widely viewed documentary “Alive R. Kelly” helped make her case an indicator of the #MeToo era, and gave voice to accusers who wondered whether their stories were previously ignored because they were black women.
Within months of the series being televised in 2019, Kelly was arrested. “I don’t think TV producers should decide who to prosecute in this country, but we are dealing with limited government resources and these are political realities that we need to accept,” Rahmani said. “It’s a new world we’re living in.”
Shafran called the verdict a “step toward justice” and a possible sign that society has “reached a new stage of unwillingness to ignore the damage” Kelly and others have caused many young lives.
“The next step is to hold supporters accountable – Kelly did not keep all these young women in the throes, nor evade accountability for their actions,” she said.
Contributions: Tom Hays, Larry Neumeister, Associated Press; Sydney Henderson, Alia E. Dastgir, USA Today
If you are a survivor of sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or visit hotline.rainn.org/online and receive confidential support.