R. Kelly Verdict: R&B Star Found Guilty On All Counts In New York Sex Trafficking Trial [Read Full Details]

American R&B Star, Robert Kelly 

R&B star R. Kelly has been convicted in New York following a six-weeklong trial featuring graphic testimony from dozens of accusers.

A jury of seven men and five women found the 54-year-old guilty Monday on all nine counts of sex trafficking and racketeering, on just the second day of deliberations. Kelly remained motionless, eyes downcast as the verdict was read.

The charges were based on an argument that the entourage of managers and aides who helped the singer meet girls – and keep them obedient and quiet – amounted to a criminal enterprise under the federal laws originally aimed at stopping organized crime.

Kelly was also convicted of criminal counts accusing him of violating the Mann Act, which makes it illegal to take anyone across state lines “for any immoral purpose.”

Kelly's lawyer Deveraux Cannick said he was disappointed by the verdict. “I think I’m even more disappointed the government brought the case in the first place given all the inconsistencies,” Cannick said.

The charges date back decades and stem from six complaining witnesses, including the late singer Aaliyah, called Jane Doe No. 1 by prosecutors. Kelly, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, didn't take the stand during his trial. 

Kelly has been behind bars since his arrest in July 2019. Sentencing is scheduled for May 4.

Michael Irving Leonard, one of Kelly's lawyers in a similar federal case against him pending in Chicago, told USA TODAY he was surprised by the verdict. 

"I was optimistic that on the main charges, the racketeering charges, he would be found not guilty," Leonard said. "The nature of a (Racketeer Influenced and Corruption Organization) RICO case typically fits that of Mafia or drug kingpins directing their underlings to do various (illegal) things and this is a far different scenario. I didn't think the jury would believe that (Kelly) and the band were a 'criminal enterprise.'" 

Leonard said the late sentencing date for Kelly is not standard – usually federal judges set sentencing 90 or 120 days out – but is not unheard of and may be the result of the judge's schedule and also COVID-19 precautions. 

He said Kelly's sentence will be calculated based on federal sentencing guidelines for the various crimes he's been convicted of, such as racketeering, which carries a recommended maximum of 20 years.

“To the victims in this case, your voices were heard and justice was finally served,” Acting U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulis told reporters outside the courthouse in Brooklyn after the verdict.

Peter Fitzhugh, a Homeland Security agent who helped lead the investigation into the R&B star, said the verdict brought an end to Kelly’s “decade-long reign of terror over many vulnerable girls, boys and young women.”

Gloria Allred, the women's rights attorney who represents three of the accusers who testified and whose allegations formed the basis of some of the charges, praised her clients' courage and the work of federal investigators and prosecutors.

"Justice has been done," Allred said. "Let this be a message to other celebrities who also use their fame to prey on their fans and others who are unfortunate enough to come into contact with them. You are also likely to face serious consequences for your criminal conduct.

"The issue is not if the law will catch up to you. The only question is when," she said.

Source: msn.com 


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