Internationally known RnB singer, Robert Sylvester Kelly, better known as R. Kelly, has been found guilty on nine charges in the state of New York, including s*x trafficking and racketeering.
Kelly, who was previously acquitted in a 2008 child pornography case, faces up to life in prison and is still awaiting trial for two other cases in Illinois (child p*rnography and obstruction) and Minnesota (child pr*stitution).
In addition to racketeering, Kelly was also found guilty on eight violations of the The Mann Act of 1910, which criminalizes the trafficking of women for prostitution or “immoral” purposes.
The trial lasted for five weeks while arguments were presented by 45 witnesses from the prosecution alone. The victims (eight Jane Does and two John Does) swore on the horrific episodes with Kelly, including experiencing and witnessing gruesome abuse. His previous employees and associates, many of which stood back as the crimes occurred, confirmed & corroborated the testimonies of victims.
Even the details of Kelly’s marriage to Aaliyah (who was underage at the time) were brought to the surface and used to support the government’s case against Kelly for bribery. While most of the industry and even fans were aware of what was going on, this case is the first time Kelly has been held accountable by the law in regards to the illegal marriage.
According to billboard.com, the prosecution held the burden of proof, arguing to convince a jury that Kelly was knowingly using his musical “enterprise” as “a vehicle for crime,” mainly involving sex trafficking and the sexual exploitation of minors. This point was crucial in hammering down the racketeering charge, at the heart of the case. The defense on the other hand, did their best to poke holes in the testimony of witnesses, who they described as “disgruntled groupies,” emphasize the normalcy of Kelly’s lifestyle in comparison to other “superstars,” and reference Kelly’s rumored illiteracy as evidence of his inability to successfully run a criminal enterprise.
The verdict was delivered pretty fast, after only two days of deliberation by the jury, which consisted of seven men and five women… which indicates they were in agreement on most counts.
“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 girls and young men and women for decades an assorted web of sex abuse, exploitation and humiliation. To the victims in this case, your voices were heard and justice was finally served.”
“I applaud their courage in revealing in open court the painful, intimate and horrific details of their lives with him. No one deserves what they experienced at his hands or the threats and harassment they faced in telling the truth about what happened to them. We hope that todays verdict brings some measure of comfort and closure to the victims.”~ acting U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulis
The people/ fans seem to have mixed emotions on the verdict. A lot of people are happy, but others feel the parents of the victims should be charged as well as anybody who knew about something going on. What are your thought?