After decades of using his status to abuse women and children, R Kelly may finally be bought to justice. After a six-week trial, the jury has confirmed they found R Kelly guilty on eight counts of sex trafficking and one count of racketeering.
R Kelly could face life in prison
The trial exposed R Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, as a ringleader of a violent scheme that lured and kidnapped women and children for his own sadistic pleasure.
Prosecutors detailed that Kelly would use his fame and status to pick women out of concert crowds with the help of his entourage. Some victims even came to Kelly hoping that he would help drive their careers, only to find themselves subjected to ‘Rob’s rules’ and would be severely punished if they failed to do as he asked.
The trial saw nine women and two men take to the stands to shed light on the I Believe I Can Fly singer’s abusive acts, with one woman revealing she was imprisoned and raped after trying to interview him for a radio show.
Legal documents also noted that Kelly would subject his victims to mental abuse, not allowing them to eat or use the bathroom without his permission and forcing them to call him ‘Daddy’, acts that initially came to light in the documentary Surviving R Kelly.
The singer was also found to have kidnapped victims, trafficked women across US state lines, and engaged in creating child pornography.
After getting away with the acts for decades, Kelly will finally be sentenced on the 4th of May and faces a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years behind bars, but the 54-year-old could also spend the rest of his life in prison.
On top of the recent conviction, R Kelly also still faces federal charges in Chicago for child pornography and obstruction, as well as state charges in Illinois and Minnesota.
‘Of all the predators that I have pursued, Mr Kelly is the worst.’
A lawyer representing some of Kelly’s victims, Gloria Allred, revealed to reporters: ‘I’ve been practising law for 47 years. During this time, I’ve pursued many sexual predators who have committed crimes against women and children.’
Of all the predators that I have pursued, Mr Kelly is the worst.
At a news conference outside the courts, prosecutor Jacquelyn Kasulis thanked the jury of seven men and five women who banded together to make a swift decision against Kelly, taking just nine hours over two days to deliberate.
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 today’s verdict brings some measure of comfort and closure.