R. Kelly Found Guilty of Racketeering and Sexual Abuse
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It took the jury just 9 hours to arrive at a guilty verdict for nine counts in the sexual abuse case against R&B star Robert Sylvester Kelly, popularly known as R. Kelly. 

In the trial held at the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse, the self-proclaimed Pied Piper of R&B, was found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking.

The racketeering charge included 14 different acts, according to Huffington Post. The prosecution had to prove just two of those acts to the jury to be found guilty on the racketeering charge. The jury found R. Kelly guilty on 12 of the 14 acts, meaning he was found overwhelmingly guilty on the racketeering charge.

The crimes took place more than two decades ago. 

“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 gratification,” Jacquelyn Kasulis, the acting United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said at a press conference. 

The prosecution presented a compelling case, calling 45 witnesses, including 11 accusers. According to an NPR report, six of the accusers were underage when they started having sexual encounters with R. Kelly.

R. Kelly raised suspicions in the ’90s that he was a pedophile when he married Aaliyah Dana Haughton, the late teen R&B superstar popularly known as Aaliyah. She was only 15. 

According to the New York Times, federal prosecutors accused R. Kelly of bribing an Illinois government official to provide him with a fake ID that showed Aaliyah was 18 and thus making it legal to marry her. 

LA Times reports a witness testified that R. Kelly illegally married late singer Aaliyah when she was 15 to get an abortion with his legal consent. 

Accusers echoed each other’s testimonies saying R. Kelly lured them with his fame and then abused them sexually, physically, and mentally. 

Kelly, 54, singer of many hit songs, including the sexually explicit Bump and Grind, will be sentenced on May 4, 2022. He is looking at a minimum of 10 years to life in prison. 

The jury was composed of 7 men and five women. 

Here’s the Washington Post report.

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