R. Kelly has been found guilty of being the orchestrator of a scheme to recruit women and underage girls for sex. The New York Times reports R. Kelly was found guilty on each count named in his racketeering and sex trafficking trial.
R. Kelly faced nine counts. One count of racketeering, with 14 underlying acts that included sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping, bribery, and sex trafficking charges, and also eight additional counts of violations of the Mann Act, a sex trafficking law.
The Times states R. Kelly “sat motionless” in the courtroom as the verdict was delivered. His facial expressions were unable to be seen due to wearing a COVID-19 mask. He was found guilty of nine counts of racketeering and sex trafficking.
The trial lasted six weeks in Brooklyn and included testimonies of sexual abuse and more. The jury was composed of seven men and five women. They began deliberation this past Friday afternoon.
Kelly’s legal team has stated they will seek an appeal and are disappointed in the verdict.
Sentencing for R. Kelly’s New York trial is set for May 5, 2022. Ahead of that date, Kelly will face federal charges in Illinois, along with additional cases in Cook County and Minneapolis.
R. Kelly’s racketeering case opened on Aug. 18. Aside from his illegal marriage to Aaliyah being highlighted, the trial’s opening day featured the first time Kelly’s accusers took the stand against him in a criminal case.
Jerhonda Pace testified in a Brooklyn courtroom on Wednesday and stated the first time she had sex with R. Kelly was when she was 16 years old. She stated R. Kelly was an idol but would go on to physically and emotionally abuse her while being forced to live under “Rob’s rules.”
According to The New York Times, the rules were in effect whenever Pace was at Kelly’s home, and she was forced to call him “Daddy” and have to acknowledge him whenever he entered a room. If she did not do so, she was punished. “That’s when he slapped me and choked me until I passed out,” Pace said of an incident in his Chicago home. “I remember him just putting his hand around my neck.”
In Brooklyn Assistant US Attorney Maria Cruz Melendez’s opening statements, she addressed the marriage to Aaliyah. The singer was just 15, as R. Kelly was 27. R. Kelly allegedly got Aaliyah pregnant and was entering a marriage with her to prohibit testimony against him.
“If she was pregnant that meant there would be questions: At the very top of that list of questions — who is the father of that baby?” Cruz Melendez presented in court.
Cruz Melendez would provide details of obtaining a fake ID for Aaliyah, allowing her to be married at age 18.
Chicago physician Kris McGrath testified in court that Kelly had the sexually transmitted virus since 1994 and that he and his medical associates would regularly call Kelly to remind him to refill his genital herpes medicine Valtrex.
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