R. Kelly verdict: R&B star found guilty on all counts in New York sex trafficking trial

Written by on September 27, 2021

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R&B star R. Kelly has been convicted in New York following a six-weeklong trial that includes graphic testimony from dozens of accusers.

A jury of seven males and 5 ladies discovered the 54-year-old responsible Monday on all 9 counts of intercourse trafficking and racketeering, on simply the second day of deliberations. Kelly remained immobile, eyes downcast as the decision was learn.

The fees have been based mostly on an argument that the entourage of managers and aides who helped the singer meet women – and maintain them obedient and quiet – amounted to a prison enterprise below the federal legal guidelines initially aimed toward stopping organized crime.

Kelly was additionally convicted of prison counts accusing him of violating the Mann Act, which makes it unlawful to take anybody throughout state strains “for any immoral objective.”

Kelly’s lawyer Deveraux Cannick stated he was disillusioned by the decision. “I believe I’m much more disillusioned the federal government introduced the case within the first place given all of the inconsistencies,” Cannick stated.

The prices date again a long time and stem from six complaining witnesses, together with the late singer Aaliyah, referred to as Jane Doe No. 1 by prosecutors. Kelly, whose actual title is Robert Sylvester Kelly, did not take the stand throughout his trial. 

Kelly has been behind bars since his arrest in July 2019. Sentencing is scheduled for Might 4.

Michael Irving Leonard, one among Kelly’s attorneys in an analogous federal case in opposition to him pending in Chicago, instructed USA TODAY he was shocked by the decision. 

“I used to be optimistic that on the primary prices, the racketeering prices, he could be discovered not responsible,” Leonard stated. “The character of a (Racketeer Influenced and Corruption Group) RICO case usually matches that of Mafia or drug kingpins directing their underlings to do varied (unlawful) issues and it is a far completely different situation. I did not assume the jury would imagine that (Kelly) and the band have been a ‘prison enterprise.'” 

Leonard stated the late sentencing date for Kelly shouldn’t be customary – normally federal judges set sentencing 90 or 120 days out – however shouldn’t be extraordinary and could also be the results of the decide’s schedule and in addition COVID-19 precautions. 

He stated Kelly’s sentence can be calculated based mostly on federal sentencing pointers for the assorted crimes he is been convicted of, reminiscent of racketeering, which carries a really helpful most of 20 years.


R. Kelly responsible: Prosecutor speaks out on R&B star’s conviction

R&B star R. Kelly has been discovered responsible in his New York sex-trafficking and racketeering trial.

Related Press, USA TODAY

“To the victims on this case, your voices have been heard and justice was lastly served,” Performing U.S. Legal professional Jacquelyn Kasulis instructed reporters exterior the courthouse in Brooklyn after the decision.

Peter Fitzhugh, a Homeland Safety agent who helped lead the investigation into the R&B star, stated the decision introduced an finish to Kelly’s “decade-long reign of terror over many weak women, boys and younger ladies.”

Extra: All the things that occurred throughout R. Kelly’s sex-trafficking trial, as much as the responsible verdict

Gloria Allred, the ladies’s rights lawyer who represents three of the accusers who testified and whose allegations shaped the idea of a few of the prices, praised her purchasers’ braveness and the work of federal investigators and prosecutors.

“Justice has been completed,” Allred stated. “Let this be a message to different celebrities who additionally use their fame to prey on their followers and others who’re unlucky sufficient to come back into contact with them. You’re additionally more likely to face critical penalties in your prison conduct.

“The difficulty shouldn’t be if the regulation will catch as much as you. The one query is when,” she stated.

The decision comes 13 years after Kelly was acquitted of 14 counts of little one pornography prices in 2008 by a jury that deliberated lower than eight hours over two days.

Kelly nonetheless faces related federal and state prices in Illinois and in Minnesota; it isn’t but clear how the decision in Brooklyn will have an effect on these instances or once they may attain a trial. 

Prosecutors rested their case in opposition to the R&B singer following six weeks of testimony from a number of witnesses who accuse him of sexual and bodily abuse. Their accounts included profane video and audio recordings that prosecutors say doc how he threatened accusers with violence. 

“It’s now time for the defendant, Robert Kelly, to pay for his crimes. Convict him,” Assistant U.S. Legal professional Elizabeth Geddes instructed jurors on Thursday in her closing arguments in federal court docket in Brooklyn.

Kelly “believed the music, the celebrity and the superstar meant he might do no matter he needed,” Assistant U.S. Legal professional Nadia Shihata stated within the courtroom.

However, she added, “He’s not a genius, he’s a prison. A predator.” She added that his alleged victims “aren’t groupies or gold diggers. They’re human beings.”

The protection hit again Thursday, telling the jury they have been misled by opportunistic accusers about consensual relationships.

In his closing, protection lawyer Cannick instructed the jury that testimony by a number of accusers was filled with lies, and that “the federal government allow them to lie.”

Cannick argued there was no proof Kelly’s accusers have been ever pressured to do something in opposition to their will. As an alternative, Cannick stated, Kelly’s girlfriends caught round as a result of he spoiled them with free air journey, procuring sprees and fancy dinners – remedy that belied the predator label.

“He gave them a lavish way of life,” he stated. “That’s not what a predator is meant to do.”

R. Kelly: Jury begins deliberation on singer’s intercourse trafficking and racketeering prices

Greater than 45 witnesses testified, together with 5 complaining witnesses who stated Kelly subjected them to perverse and sadistic whims once they have been underage.

The primary complaining witness to take the stand was Jerhonda Johnson Tempo, who beforehand shared her story within the Lifetime docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly.” In court docket, she alleged she had intercourse with the singer when she was 16, though she initially instructed him she was 19.

Tempo testified that Kelly recorded their intercourse periods, later displaying the recordings to her to level out the place she might use “enchancment.” She stated she “ended up contracting herpes” whereas she was with Kelly in 2009.

The R. Kelly trial shocks us: This is what should not

The second accuser, who referred to as herself “Jane” on the stand, stated when she first met Kelly, he pressured her for intercourse earlier than an audition. She stated she moved in with him whereas nonetheless a junior in highschool and testified Kelly chastised or punished her for varied causes throughout their time collectively, together with forcing her to have intercourse with one other man whereas Kelly recorded it on an iPad. She was additionally coerced into getting an abortion in 2017 after Kelly stated he wasn’t able to have a baby together with her, she stated, and testified the star gave her herpes.

She additionally alleged Kelly made his girlfriends follow answering questions on him to higher defend him throughout his risky CBS interview with Gayle King.

The third complaining witness, who referred to as herself “Stephanie,” stated in 1999 she sought out Kelly to assist a good friend together with her singing aspirations. Kelly subjected her to a monthslong abusive sexual relationship when she was 17, throughout which he continuously videotaped their sexual encounters, she testified. His sexual calls for and videotaping of her in humiliating positions left her “disgusted,” she instructed the jury.

One other complaining witness, “Religion,” stated she was uncovered to a sexually transmitted illness after assembly Kelly at a backstage after-party in 2017 when she was 19. She stated the singer paid for her flights and resort rooms to attend his live shows in cities the place he demanded intercourse from her. When questioned by the prosecution, she stated Kelly didn’t inform her he had herpes and didn’t put on condoms.

The fifth complaining witness alleged Kelly locked her in a darkened, windowless room for days and raped her whereas she was unconscious. The witness stated she spent two days in captivity earlier than lastly being given one thing to eat.

Kelly’s former assistant and tour supervisor, Demetrius Smith, testified below subpoena and immunity from prosecution that he helped facilitate Kelly’s unlawful 1994 marriage to the late singer Aaliyah, then 15, after he started a sexual relationship together with her and believed she had turn into pregnant. 

Prosecutors stated Kelly, then 27, needed to make use of the wedding, which was later annulled, to defend himself from prison prices associated to having intercourse with a minor and to forestall her from testifying in opposition to him. Aaliyah died in a airplane crash in 2001 at age 22.

Contributing: The Related Press, Charles Trepany 

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