R&B singer R Kelly has been found guilty on all counts in his sex trafficking trial after decades of allegations about sexual misconduct with minors.
The 54-year-old Robert Sylvester Kelly was convicted by a federal jury in Brooklyn on Monday for all nine counts of racketeering and multiple predicate acts including the sexual exploitation of children.
“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 told reporters.
The hearing follows six weeks of trial before US District Judge Ann M. Donnelly.
Stated in a United States Department of Justice media release, the trial took evidence from the testimony of 45 government witnesses including more than 10 victims, testimonies of R Kelly’s employees, text messages, video footage and audio recordings.
The court heard R Kelly was the leader of an organised criminal enterprise for nearly 30 years with his entourage of body guards, managers and drivers allegedly plucking out girls from crowds at his concerts and bringing them backstage to engage in illegal sexual acts.
Prosecutors said the singer used his high status to coerce, recruit and sexually abuse women and girls before arranging travel and lodging for them to revisit R Kelly.
“Mr Kelly ran a criminal enterprise whose mission was to serve his sexual gratification by setting up a complex organization of enablers and handlers. When his victims tried to escape, Mr Kelly and his accomplices silenced them through bribery, intimidation, and physical violence,” Peter C Fitzhugh told the court.
His alleged victims include the late singer Aaliyah who Kelly illegally married when she was 15 years old.
“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 said.
The sentence was scheduled for May 4, 2022, where the singer will be facing a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison.
Photo: Gavel on black background with copy space by Bill Oxford is available HERE and is used under a CC license.