R. Kelly, the R&B superstar who has long been trailed by accusations of sexual misconduct and abuse, was found guilty in New York on Monday on all counts in a high profile sex-trafficking case, capping a trial that featured hours of graphic testimony from his accusers.Kelly, who has been in custody for much of the time since he was formally charged in 2019, was convicted on one count of racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act, the law that bars transporting people across state lines “for any immoral purpose.”
“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,” acting U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulis said in a statement.
“To the victims in this case, your voices were heard, and justice was finally served. We hope that today’s verdict brings some measure of comfort and closure to the victims,” Kasulis added.Kelly, 54, who faces decades in prison when he is sentenced May 4, wore a mask and appeared stoic as the verdict was read aloud in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.Kelly “didn’t say much of anything” after the verdict was announced, his attorney Deveraux Cannick told reporters. “He was shocked.”
Kelly, best known for the 1996 hit “I Believe I Can Fly,” pleaded not guilty to all charges. The singer, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, did not take the stand in his own defense.Gerald Griggs, a lawyer who said he represents several of Kelly’s accusers and their families, thanked his clients for their “immense strength” and expressed his gratitude to prosecutors.”This is just the beginning. We’ve been fighting this battle since 2017, and many of the victims have been fighting this battle for years,” Griggs said. “Finally, their voices were heard.”The prosecutors in the trial, which centered on the allegations of six people, said Kelly was a serial sexual predator who abused young women, as well as underage girls and boys, for more than two decades.
Prosecutors further alleged that he and his entourage led a criminal enterprise that recruited and groomed victims for sex, arranging for them to travel to concerts and other events across the U.S.
In a closing argument that lasted two days, Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Geddes accused Kelly and his entourage of using tactics from “the predator playbook” to control his victims.
Drop your comments below….