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R. Kelly Found Guilty Of Racketeering At Sex Trafficking Trial

Claire Reid

Published 
| Last updated 

R. Kelly Found Guilty Of Racketeering At Sex Trafficking Trial

R. Kelly has been convicted in his sex trafficking trial after decades of allegations about sexual misconduct with minors.

The 54-year-old had pleaded not guilty to the charges of racketeering.

But a jury of seven men and five women at the trial held in Brooklyn, found Kelly guilty of racketeering on their second day of deliberations.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

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".

Assistant US attorney Nadia Shihata said Kelly believed '"the music, the fame and the celebrity meant he could do whatever he wanted'.

Before telling the court that the alleged victims 'aren't groupies or gold diggers, they're human beings'.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Kelly's defence claimed that his accusers were 'groupies' and 'stalkers', while defence attorney Deveraux Cannick asked the court why the alleged victims would continue to remain in relationships with the singer if they felt they had been exploited.

"You made a choice," Mr Cannick told one woman who testified.

He added: "You participated of your own will."

Allegations of Kelly's conduct towards women and girls have swirled for years - and were highlighted in the Surviving R. Kelly documentary series.

Kelly had an illegal marriage to Aaliyah in 1994 when she was just 15-years-old.

The court was told he had ordered a former manager to fake documents in order for the marriage to be conducted.

Kelly, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, has been jailed without bail since in 2019. His trial was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: US News

Claire Reid
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