R. Kelly Found Guilty of Racketeering and Sex Trafficking
It was a guilty verdict today for R. Kelly, after years of sexual abuse allegations.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York announced the news, revealing Robert Sylvester Kelly “was convicted today by a federal jury in Brooklyn of all nine counts of a superseding indictment charging him with racketeering predicated on criminal conduct including sexual exploitation of children, forced labor and Mann Act violations involving the coercion and transportation of women and girls in interstate commerce to engage in illegal sexual activity.”
Starting August 18, jurors heard from 45 witnesses, including 10 victims, as well as Kelly’s employees. Jurors were also presented with text messages, audio recordings, photographs, and more evidence.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Kelly had rules for the women and girls he preyed on, including insisting that they call him “Daddy,” asking for permission to eat or use the bathroom, keeping their heads down, and never speaking to other men. He was also accused of requiring “victims to engage in sex with him and others,” and was said to have “recorded many of the sexual encounters.”
Acting U.S. Attorney Kasulis said in a statement, “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 sexual gratification. A predator who used his inner circle to ensnare underage teenage girls, and young women and men, for decades, in a sordid web of sex abuse, exploitation and degradation. To the victims in this case, your voices were heard, and justice was finally served. We hope that today’s verdict brings some measure of comfort and closure to the victims.”
His sentencing is set for May 4.
Kelly was previously acquitted on child pornography charges in 2008, and is facing more charges in other states. According to the Associated Press he has pleaded not guilty to sex-related charges in Illinois and Minnesota. No trial dates have been set in those cases.