Elizabeth Williams / AP
After more than 25 years of accusations and a seven-week trial in federal court in New York, the R&B singer R. Kelly has been convicted of charges including sexual exploitation of a child, bribery, extortion and sex trafficking involving five victims. Kelly faces a possible 10-year sentence to life in prison.
Kelly stood absolutely still as the foreman handed the jury verdict to Judge Ann Donnelly.
There were fourteen underlying acts associated with the racketeering charge. The jury found that the government had proven twelve of those acts, involving five victims: singer Aaliyah, as well as women named Stephanie, Jerhonda Pace, Jane and Stephanie. Three facts associated with an alleged victim named Sonja were not proven. (Most of the alleged victims used their first names or pseudonyms.) The government needed proof of only two of the racketeering acts for one count of guilty.
Federal prosecutors for the Eastern District of New York successfully proved to a jury of seven men and five women that Kelly had been the head of a criminal enterprise, the purpose of which was to lure girls, boys and women to the R&B singer for their sexual gratification. .
In addition to awaiting sentencing in this New York case, Kelly will face a second federal trial on charges of child pornography and obstruction of justice in Illinois. Some of those allegations are related to a 2008 child pornography trial in Chicago, in which he was acquitted of all charges.
Additionally, Kelly faces pending criminal charges in Cook County, Illinois, where he was indicted by the state attorney in February 2019 for aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four victims (three of them minors), and in Minnesota, where Mr. Kelly was charged in August 2019 with prostitution with a minor.
Sentencing in New York is scheduled for May 4.