Jurors declared R&B singer guilty of one count of racketeering and eight counts of sex trafficking. Specifically, the racketeering charge includes acts of bribery and sexual exploitation of a child.
Meanwhile, the sex trafficking acts were all violations of the Mann Act. Prior to the verdict, the singer pleaded “Not Guilty” to all counts.
R. Kelly Banded As Predator
In the verdict issued Tuesday, jurors said they found R. Kelly guilty on all nine counts. Jacquelyn Kasulis, acting US attorney from the Eastern District of New York, celebrated the conviction.
“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,” she said.
- Kelly is “a predator who used his inner circle to ensnare underage girls and young men and women for decades, in a sordid web of sex abuse, exploitation, and humiliation,” Kasulis added.
In addition, Kasulis saluted the victims for their bravery in coming forward. “To the victims, in this case, your voices were heard and justice was finally served,” she added.
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Meanwhile, lawyer Gloria Allred, who represented three of the six victims who testified, said Kelly is the worst predator she has ever pursued. “First, he used the power of his celebrity to recruit vulnerable underage girls for the purpose of sexually abusing them.
These were not May-October relationships, which is what his defense attorney wanted the jury to believe — these were crimes against children and some adults,” she remarked. Also, Allred said she hopes the verdict serves as a message for other celebrities who prey on others.
R. Kelly Didn’t Expect The Guilty Verdict
Meanwhile, Kelly’s lawyer Deveraux Cannick said his client did not expect the verdict to turn out this way. During the verdict reading, R. Kelly did not show any reaction.
However, Cannick accused the court of cherry-picking through the evidence to support the narrative. “You didn’t get to see what we saw in terms of the discovery.
You didn’t get to see all the inconsistencies,” he complained. “We said in our summation that the government cherry-picked the version that they thought would support the continuation of the narrative. Why would he expect this verdict given all the inconsistencies that we saw?” he said.
The jury, which consisted of seven men and five women, began their deliberations last Friday. After they delivered the verdict, R. Kelly now faces a lifetime in prison.
Kelly, who is Robert Sylvester Kelly in real life, managed to get an acquittal from child pornography charges at an Illinois trial in 2008. Lawyers for the singer are considering filing an appeal.
More Troubles Coming for R. Kelly
The verdict and the eventual May 4, 2022 sentencing is not the end of Kelly’s troubles. In particular, he faces additional federal charges of child porn and obstruction charges in Illinois. In addition, he also faces aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
Meanwhile, the state of Minnesota also has cases waiting for him. There, he’ll face two counts of engaging in prostitution with a minor. However, Kelly pleaded not guilty to all charges and denied any wrongdoing.
- Kelly became notorious for abusing women. Even worse, he is known to prefer minors as his targets. For over two decades, Kelly used his fame to befriend and groom victims. Prosecutors say that the singer and his entourage regularly recruited and groomed victims for sex. In addition, Kelly’s assistants would arrange for victims to travel to concerts and other events across the US. Kelly is also notorious for videotaping his sexual conquests. Some of these videotapes ended up as evidence that helped convict him.
Entourage Used ‘Predator Playbook’
In the New York trial’s closing argument that lasted two days, Assistant US Attorney Elizabeth Geddes accused Kelly and his entourage of preying on victims.
She said the group used tactics from “the predator playbook” to maintain control of his victims. Lawyers accused the defendant of confining victims in hotel rooms or his recording studio.
He relished controlling when victims could eat and use the bathroom. He also forced them to follow various rules, which included calling him “Daddy”. “It is now time to hold the defendant responsible for the pain he inflicted on each of his victims,” Geddes said in court Thursday. “It is now time for the defendant, Robert Kelly, to pay for his crimes. Convict him.”
Watch the NBC News video reporting that R. Kelly was found guilty on all charges in racketeering and sex trafficking case:
What can you say about convicted predator R. Kelly? In addition, what can you say about sexual predators that engage in this sort of thing?
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