He risks a life sentence R. Kelly. Singer R&B was found guilty by a federal jury of seven men and five women. The list of crimes is long and very heavy: sexual abuse, sexual abuse of minors, sexual exploitation and racketeering.
Prosecutors, in the trial that began on August 18 in New York, described the R&B singer as a predator of young African American women and girls. For assistant prosecutor Maria Cruz Melendez, Kelly would be a serial rapist who “maintained control over the victims using every trick from the predator’s manual.”
Also famous for winning a 1996 Grammy with the song I believe i can fly, the 54-year-old musician has pleaded not guilty to eight counts of violating a federal law that makes it illegal to transport people across state borders for prostitution.
The singer was in fact found guilty, among other things, of having led a criminal organization in Chicago for over two decades, which recruited women by subjecting them to sexual and psychological abuse. Several victims testified during the trial that they were subjected to these abuses even when they were minors.
At the trial, which involved fifty prosecution and defense witnesses, many of Kelly’s accusers testified without using their real names, but using the generic “Jane Does”, to protect their privacy and prevent attacks from fans. of the singer.
Jurors were shown videos shot of Kelly engaging in sexual acts that prosecutors said was not consensual. The defense has instead labeled the accusers as “groupies” and “stalkers”.
The singer, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, was acquitted by an Illinois court of child pornography charges 13 years ago. New allegations against him surfaced in a 2019 documentary, Surviving R Kelly, in which it was denounced how an entourage of supporters for years had protected the singer by silencing the victims.
After the release of the film, the singer was arrested without bail and accused by the federal judiciary of racketeering and violation of the Mann Act, which prohibits sexual exploitation.