R. Kelly Is Found Guilty of All Counts and Faces Life in Prison

The singer was convicted of union racketeer and sexual activity traffic charges for a decades-long scheme to recruit women and minor girls for sex. Once one of the biggest names in popular music, he could face decades in prison. “ Today ’ s guilty verdict everlastingly brands R. Kelly as a predator who used his fame and luck to prey on the young, the vulnerable and the voiceless. ” “ Mr. Kelly is a fecund serial predator. Despite numerous reports of his destructive misuse over the years, Mr. Kelly ’ s brazen acts of intimidation against his accusers kept him shielded from prosecution. ” “ Kelly, after grooming, isolating and intimidating his child victims, recorded them being sexually abused and humiliated by him. He directed these videos and produced them, not lone for his own sexual gratification, but in some instances for the aim of using these videos to silence and threaten his victims with public exposure of these tapes if they always revealed what he had done to them. ” “ Of course, Mr. Kelly is disappointed. He was not anticipating this verdict because based on the attest, why should he anticipate this verdict ? I ’ thousand certain — I ’ molarity sure we ’ ll be appealing. ” R. Kelly, the multiplatinum R & B artist whose musical bequest became loop with dozens of accusations of sexual misuse, was found guilty on Monday of serving as the ringleader of a decades-long scheme to recruit women and underage girls for sex. The jury in New York deliberated for about nine hours before convicting the singer of all nine counts against him, including racketeer and eight violations of an anti-sex traffic police known as the Mann Act.

The decision represents the first condemnable punishment against Mr. Kelly despite a trail of allegations of wrongdoing that extends for more than a quarter-century. His six-week trial exposed a harrow system of injury and mistreat, commanded by the singer and enabled by his associates. Mr. Kelly, 54, once one of the biggest names in popular music, now faces the possibility of animation in prison, capping a remarkable about-face of luck. As the verdict was read, he sat inactive in the court, wearing a navy amobarbital sodium suit and glasses, with his facial expression hidden behind a disguise. To many observers, Mr. Kelly ’ s casing represented a critical test of the inclusivity of the Me Too motion, which seeks to hold influential and potent men accountable for sexual misbehavior. Never before in a high-profile Me Too-era trial had the large majority of the accusers been Black women. Jacquelyn M. Kasulis, the acting U.S. lawyer in Brooklyn, told reporters that the verdict sent a brawny message to men like Mr. Kelly. She thanked the 11 men and women who accused him of misconduct at the trial. “ No one deserves what they experienced at his hands or the threats and harassment they faced in telling the accuracy about what happened to them. We hope that today ’ randomness verdict brings some measure of comfort and closing, ” Ms. Kasulis said. As he left the court on Monday, one of Mr. Kelly ’ randomness lawyers said his department of defense team would consider an attract. “ Of course we are disappointed in the verdict, ” the lawyer, Deveraux L. Cannick, said as he walked through the courthouse. “ I am even more disappoint in the prosecution for bringing this case, ” he said, adding that it was “ full with inconsistencies. ” Mr. Kelly once stood atop the region of R & B music, catapulting himself into an international ace in the 1990s and 2000s on the success of hits like “ I Believe I Can Fly. ” But as the Me Too bowel movement continued to gain steam, cracks in his armor began to show, as new women and their families came forward, a protest campaign was waged to boycott his music and a jolt objective delved into the accusations around him. The prototype he once crafted as an alluring arouse symbol and genre-redefining lyricist collapsed in the populace eye. The trial marked a meaning milestone, as women and men took the base against the singer to accuse Mr. Kelly of sexual maltreatment for the first time, including several who had never shared their accounts publicly. On Monday, several women who said Mr. Kelly had abused them praised his conviction as a decades-in-the-making rebuke of the singer and a meaningful validation of the stories of his victims. “ nowadays, my part was heard, ” Jerhonda Pace wrote on Instagram. Ms. Pace became the first gear accuser to ever testify against Mr. Kelly at a criminal trial when she took the stand final month. Oronike Odeleye, the co-founder of the # MuteRKelly campaign, said the conviction was the consequence of accusations that took years to be heard. “ This is the apogee of the drift of so many women who have been trying therefore long to have their voices listen, ” Ms. Odeleye said. “ We have never had full ownership of our bodies. And we ’ re at a here and now where Black women are nobelium longer accepting that as the price of being Black and female in America. ” The verdict came after the government constructed a brush font against Mr. Kelly, with evidence that extended from recent years back to the early 1990s. federal prosecutors chronicled a dark travel in the career of the singer, whose real mention is Robert Sylvester Kelly. He was embraced as a hometown achiever story in Chicago as he overcame a low-income breeding filled with struggles. But his eminence assured him he was untouchable, prosecutors said, and as he gained huge entree to young fans, Mr. Kelly became a criminal mastermind who used a population of enablers and sycophants in his eye socket to ensnare women, girls and boys. The prosecution called 45 witnesses during the test, but the criminal charges against the singer hinged on accusations related to six women, five of whom testified ( the sixth, the singer Aaliyah, died in a flat crash in 2001 ). Four extra women and two men besides took the resist as accusers. And though none of their claims were included in the indictment, they helped bolster the government ’ s arguments, frequently telling jurors that their encounters with the singer were marred by sexual, physical or aroused abuse from him. Throughout the proceedings, the resultant role of Mr. Kelly ’ s only early condemnable trial, in 2008, stood in mind for many observers. Prosecutors in Chicago had argued that a videotape showed him having sex with and urinating on an minor girl. But he was acquitted of all 14 counts against him after the girl at the center of the case declined to testify. The singer ’ s career flourished subsequently with successful record sales and a consistent menstruation of collaborations with superstars. But in recent years, his musical repertory was largely expunged from the radio and public spaces, a destiny that would likely persist with his conviction. The politics was barred from detailing his previous case. But witnesses depicted an wrongdoer who was emboldened by his initial absolution — and whose behavior grew increasingly more brazen and disturbing in the years that followed. cheerful fans saluted Mr. Kelly when he was cleared of wrongdoing in his Chicago test. But merely a humble band of supporters was gathered outside the Brooklyn courthouse on Monday, where they streamed his music after the verdict was announced.

Mr. Kelly besides faces a federal test in Chicago on child pornography and obstacle charges, and extra state sex crime charges in Illinois and Minneapolis. Kim Foxx, the top prosecutor in Chicago who announced state sexual activity crime charges against Mr. Kelly in 2019, said the conviction was “ massive ” for the Me Too movement and sent a significant message about whose stories mattered. “ It is my hope that through this test and the toll that it has taken to get to this distributor point, that we recognize that the motion is not at its fullest strength if everyone doesn ’ metric ton have equal entree to justice, ” she said. In New York, the racketeering charge was viewed by some as an unusual and potentially parlous approach. But the codified, which has normally been used to take down syndicate organizations, was recently employed successfully against the Nxivm sex cult. Mr. Kelly ’ s defense team said that the racketeering charge itself was flawed and baseless, arguing that he had run nothing more than a successful music occupation. But the government ’ s encase was expansive. The charge was built around 14 implicit in crimes that he was accused of committing as part of his criminal enterprise ; only two of them needed to be proven to convict. Mr. Kelly declined to testify in his own defensive structure. But his lawyers aimed to cast his accusers as opportunists, liars and obsessional fans, arguing their sex with the singer had been consensual, and their accounts of abuse and misconduct fabricated. They evoked images of him as an altruistic romantic partner who regarded the women about him as kin, treated them “ like gold ” and was blindsided by their allegations. And they warned that the accounts of his accusers had been besides inconsistent over time to believe. “ Getting a conviction of R. Kelly is a large deal, ” Mr. Cannick said in his summation, invoking Martin Luther King Jr. in an attempt to argue that if the jurors acquitted Mr. Kelly, they would be demonstrating the sort of courage that defined the civil rights campaign. “ What ’ s a bigger cope is a system we can trust. ” But federal prosectors argued that a conviction would demonstrate that even the biggest stars were not untouchable by the jurisprudence. “ The defendant ’ randomness victims aren ’ triiodothyronine groupies or gold diggers. They ’ ra human beings, ” Nadia Shihata, an assistant U.S. lawyer, said at the end of the trial. “ Daughters, sisters, some are now mothers. And their lives matter. ” The seven men and five women of the jury, whose ages and races were unclear throughout the trial, ultimately sided with their position. The group remained anonymous to the public and to lawyers at both tables in the court. It featured an enormous down of evidence, including textbook messages that showed the real-time worries that some of Mr. Kelly ’ s employees shared about his discussion of women and several television and audio recordings, some of which appeared to depict the singer violently assaulting a woman and threatening her life. calm, the focal decimal point of the sheath was its slate of witnesses, who told jurors the singer ’ s public character served to disguise his on-key intentions. Among them were friends and class members of the singer ’ sulfur accusers ; eight of his former employees ; the curate who presided over his union to Aaliyah ; a sophisticate who treated him for herpes over more than a ten ; and a server of investigators involved in his initial apprehension in Chicago. The test itself represented a peculiar spectacle of the stream moment. It was first scheduled for May 2020. But the pandemic delayed the begin date for 15 months. And members of the public and the media were not granted access to the primary court out of guard concerns ; they were required to watch the proceedings through closed-circuit video recording in flood rooms. Decades before the trial began, Mr. Kelly ’ s marriage to Aaliyah in 1994, when she was 15 and he was 27, was among the first revelations to bring significant public scrutiny to his encounters with underage girls. The racketeering character allowed prosecutors the flexibility to introduce decades-old tell, including details related to Aaliyah, an R & B omen whose full name was Aaliyah Dana Haughton. One of Mr. Kelly ’ s former tour managers confirmed a long-rumored narrative that he bribed a government employee to get a fake identification for Aaliyah so the wedding could go forward, because Mr. Kelly feared that she was fraught and that he could be prosecuted for statutory rape. Another woman, Stephanie, told jurors that the singer began sexually abusing her when she was 17, after he told her that he liked “ young girls ” and that he did not understand why society viewed that as a problem. And a shower of witnesses described a inhibitory organization of restrictions that the women and girls around Mr. Kelly were forced to abide by — from a directive to address him as “ Daddy ” to requirements to obtain his permission to eat or use the bathroom. They said that when the rules were broken, the singer doled out harsh and startle punishments, from skin-tearing spankings to forcing one womanhood to smear feces on her boldness and eat it. Mr. Cannick, the lawyer for Mr. Kelly, argued that the accounts were works of fabrication and argued to jurors that the verdict carried deep implications for broader ideals of judge and fairness. But Elizabeth Geddes, an assistant U.S. lawyer, told the dialog box that their decision would serve to hold the fall ace accountable for the decades of trouble and torture he inflicted.

“ For many years, what happened in the defendant ’ s world stay in the defendant ’ mho earth, ” Ms. Geddes said in her close argument. “ But no retentive. ” Emily Palmer and Rebecca Davis O ’ Brien contributed report .

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