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R. Kelly Convicted on Racketeering, Sex Trafficking Charges

September 27, 2021 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
R. Kelly

After decades of allegations, R. Kelly has been found guilty on charges of sex trafficking and racketeering. The New York Times reports that the disgraced R&B singer was convicted in federal court in Brooklyn today of racketeering as well as eight violations of the Mann act, which forbids the transportation of a victim across state lines for criminal sexual activity. This follows jury deliberation that began on Friday afternoon and then picked back up this morning, and lasted a total of nine hours.

The convictions relate to charges brought against R. Kelly in federal court back in July of 2019, all of which he was convicted of. Kelly now faces 10 years to life in sentencing, which is scheduled for May 4th. He is also still facing trial on federal charges of child pornography and obstruction in Illinois, as well as state-level sexual misconduct trials in Minnesota and Illinois. The trial for the federal charges in Illinois will be scheduled now that the Brooklyn trial has concluded. Kelly has pled not guilty in all criminal charges across the multiple states against him.

Kelly’s conviction follows decades of suspicion and accusations that he was involved in criminal sexual activity. He was acquitted on charges of child pornography in 2008 over a video that purported to show him in engaged in sexual activity with a girl as young as 13. Both Kelly and the girl had denied they were on the tape and that jury took hours to find a not guilty verdict. A cloud has hung over the singer ever since, though it did not prevent him from continuing his incredibly successful music career.

It wasn’t until 2017 when accusations began to publicly be levied against him again, involving claims that he kept women in an abusive sex cult. Months following the initial allegations, the #MeToo movement began in the wake of allegations against Harvey Weinstein and more people began to speak up against Kelly. The Lifetime docuseries Surviving R. Kelly detailed multiple allegations against Kelly, many of which where brought up during his trial.

Among those were his sexual abuse of Aliyah, who he procured a fake ID for so they could get married in 1994 despite the late singer being only 15 at the time. It was alleged in court that Kelly began engaging in sexual activity with Aliyah shortly after they met in 1992 when she was about 12 and he was 27, and that the marriage was done on a rush because Aliyah was pregnant and Kelly did not want to be charged with statutory rape.

Kelly’s legal team called several former employees of his, as well as other associates, to the stand in order to argue that the allegations were false. Prosecutors countered with dozens of witnesses, some of whom detailed how Kelly had a team of people who would find potential targets for him.

Kelly will be sentenced on May 4th, 2022 on the charges for which he was convicted today.

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Jeremy Thomas