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R. Kelly Found Guilty of Racketeering and Sex Trafficking

todaySeptember 28, 2021

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R. Kelly could not escape the long arm of the law this time.

According to The New York Times on Monday (Sept. 27), following weeks of testimony and nine hours of deliberation, a jury of seven men and five women found the disgraced crooner guilty of racketeering and eight violations of sex trafficking charges in a Brooklyn federal courtroom today. Jurors began deliberating on Fri., Sept. 24.

NPR reported this afternoon that Kelly faces between 10 years and life in prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 4.

Kelly also faces sex-related charges in his home state of Illinois and Minnesota.

 

The 54-year-old singer, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, was arrested in 2019, and accused of orchestrating a criminal enterprise where he recruited underage girls and woman and subjected them to vile treatment, according to witness testimony. Specifically, he was charged with bribery, kidnapping, forced labor, sexual exploitation of a child, sexual trafficking across state lines and racketeering involving six victims, which allegedly took place over a nearly 30-year period.

The prosecution’s case included evidence that R. Kelly married R&B singer Aaliyah when she was 15 years old and Kelly was 27, in order to avoid prosecution after he reportedly impregnated the teen entertainer. Hip-hop producer London on Da Track’s mother, Cheryl Mack, a former assistant of Kelly, also testified for the prosecution saying she saw R. Kelly start to initiate a sexual act with a woman who claimed she was abused by the singer.

Kelly’s lawyer, Deveraux Cannick, tried to paint the victims as money-hungry liars, but in the end, the jury believed the prosecution. “He’s not a genius, he’s a criminal. A predator,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Nadia Shihata told the jury in closing on Sept. 24.

The guilty verdict comes 13 years after Kelly was acquitted of 14 counts in a child pornography case in Illinois.

XXL has reached out to R. Kelly’s attorney and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York for a comment.

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todaySeptember 28, 2021

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