On Monday, a New York jury found R. Kelly guilty of orchestrating a decades-long sex crime ring, convicting him on all nine charges, including the most serious of racketeering.
After six weeks of harrowing testimony, the jury deliberated for only nine hours before convicting R. Kelly of methodically recruiting women and teenagers for sex, grooming, and violently abusing them.
The 54-year-old celebrity sat largely still, holding his head down and occasionally closing his eyes behind black-rimmed spectacles, dressed in a light blue tie, pinstriped navy suit, and a white mask.
He could spend the rest of his life in prison. The date of his sentencing has been set on May 4th.
To convict Kelly of the most serious allegation of racketeering, jurors had to find him guilty of at least two of 14 “predicate actions,” or offences that are part of a larger pattern of illicit behaviour.
Accusations of rape, druggings, detention, and child pornography were among the raunchy testimony used to substantiate those offences.
All but two of the acts were proven by the jury of five women and seven men.
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Kelly was also found guilty of all eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits sex trafficking.
“We’re disappointed with the verdict,” Kelly’s attorney Deveraux Cannick told journalists outside the courtroom.
He stated that an appeal would be “considered.”
Kelly is still facing charges in three other places, including the federal court in Illinois.
Kelly, one of the greatest performers of the 1990s, whose hits including “I Believe I Can Fly,” was long pursued by abuse allegations, but he eluded them for decades.