R&B artiste R. Kelly found guilty on all charges in racketeering and sex trafficking trial


On Monday, a jury in New York found R&B singer R. Kelly guilty of charges that included sexual exploitation of a child, bribery, racketeering and sex trafficking five victims. Federal prosecutors successfully convinced a seven men and five women jury that the singer had headed a criminal enterprise. It lured girls, boys and women for sexual gratification of Kelly.

The singer, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, could face a 10-year term in prison. He will be sentenced on May 4, in New York. He is also facing other criminal investigations including a 2008 child pornography case in Chicago.

The trial began on September 24 and a jury in Brooklyn heard the testimonies of 50 witnesses, of whom five testified for the defendant. Kelly’s accusers said that he had minute control over their daily activities including restroom breaks. He also forced them to perform sexual acts.

R. Kelly remained emotionless and silent during Monday’s session in court though he shook his head in the universal gesture of “no” when a few statements about him were made. He was charged on the following counts. He never took the stand. He and his lawyers always maintained that all the allegations were “lie after lie after lie.”

He was charged with the following:

One count of racketeering with 14 specific acts including sexual exploitation of a child.
Eight counts of violations of the Mann Act including reportedly coercing and transporting victims across state lines.

R.Kelly’s fans gathered outside the courthouse and played his biggest hits. He has been one of the most successful artists with 28 Grammy nominations and three wins in 1997 for I Believe I Can Fly. The Chicago native had also produced “Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number” his late wife Aaliyah’s debut album.

Assistant US Attorney General Nadia Shihata said in a strong rebuttal that he was not a “genius” but he was a “criminal” and a “predator.”

One of Kelly’s attorneys said that they were disappointed with the verdict and could file an appeal.

Source NPR, CBS News, CNN

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