R. Kelly Releases Statement After Being Found Guilty In Sex Trafficking Trial
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Disgraced R&B singer R. Kelly has released a statement after being found guilty of all charges in his sex trafficking and racketeering trial.
A message was broadcast to his Facebook followers, which said: "To all my fans and supporters I love you all and thank you for all the support. Today's verdict was disappointing and I will continue to prove my innocence and fight for my freedom. #notguilty."
The attorney who represented him during the damning trial, Deveraux Cannick, also explained his surprise at seeing jurors come back with guilty verdicts for all nine charges.
Deveraux said (via Revolt): "Of course Mr. Kelly is disappointed.
"He was not anticipating this verdict because based on the evidence, why should he anticipate this verdict? You saw witness after witness giving three, four, five different versions as to what they said happened here.
"You didn't get to see what we saw in terms of the discovery. You didn't get to see all the inconsistencies. We said in our summation that the government cherry-picked their version that they thought would support the continuation of the narrative.
"Why would he expect this verdict given all the inconsistencies that we saw?"
The 54-year-old had been hit with decades of allegations about sexual misconduct with minors.
He was charged with one count of racketeering and eight counts of the Mann Act, which is a federal law addressing sex trafficking.
Kelly's defence claimed that his accusers were 'groupies' and 'stalkers', with attorney Deveraux Cannick asking the court why the alleged victims would continue to remain in relationships with the singer if they felt they had been exploited.
The charges were based on an argument that the R&B star's entourage of managers and aides who helped the singer meet girls - and keep them obedient and quiet - amounted to a criminal enterprise.
Several accusers testified in detail during the trial, alleging that Kelly subjected them to perverse and sadistic whims when they were underage.
At the trial, several of Kelly's accusers testified without using their real names to protect their privacy and prevent possible harassment by the singer's fans.
Jurors were shown homemade videos of Kelly engaging in sex acts that prosecutors said were not consensual.
Assistant US Attorney Maria Cruz Melendez argued that Kelly was a serial abuser who 'maintained control over these victims using every trick in the predator handbook'.
A jury of seven men and five women at the trial held in Brooklyn, found Kelly guilty on their second day of deliberations.
Kelly, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, is now facing a lifetime behind bars if the maximum sentence is handed down.