R&B singer R. Kelly has been dealt a verdict in his court case. The jury has found him guilty on all racketeering and sex trafficking charges.
The federal case was held in the Eastern District of New York. R. Kelly was faced with one count of racketeering. In that count were 14 other underlying acts, including sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping, bribery, and sex trafficking charges. It also included eight additional counts for violating the Mann Act, a sex trafficking law that is also known as the White-Slave Traffic Act.
The jury consisted of seven men and five women. They met on Friday (September 24) to decide on the verdict for R. Kelly. The decision could add up to decades of time in prison, but no sentencing has been given yet.
The trial for the R. Kelly case started on August 18. During these five weeks, 50 prosecution and defense witnesses took the stand, along with unnamed “Jane Does,” who were victims that testified. There were 45 prosecution witnesses.
The jury heard from witnesses who knew about the defendant’s marriage with singer Aaliyah, who died in 2001. R. Kelly married her when he was 27, and she was 15. The prosecutors showed evidence that she listed she was 18 on their marriage license application, marriage license, and marriage certification.
One of the people who testified against R. Kelly was his ex-tour manager, Demetrius Smith. He admitted that in the Chicago area that he had bribed a worker at a welfare office with $500 to get the welfare ID for Aaliyah. It did not list her date of birth, but according to an Illinois official, you would have to normally be 18 to get that specific type of ID.
A woman only named Stephanie testified at R. Kelly sexually and verbally abused her. He knew she was 17 and had sex with her and recorded them having sex. He flew her out to Florida to meet him for her 18th birthday but shortly cut off their relationship after that trip.
Another woman who only went by the name of Sonja testified against R. Kelly too. She said when she was 21, she was invited to interview him in Chicago in 2003 at his studio. When she got there, she was locked inside for days with only being let out to shower and go to the bathroom. On her first day, she passed out after eating then woke to the musician adjusting his pants. She believes he raped her.
Jerhonda Pace met R. Kelly as she went to watch his Illinois state trial on child pornography charges in 2008. She testified that a year later, he invited her to his home, where she was sexually abused. She told him she was 19 when she was 16. During her testimony, she spoke about a time where he choked her until she lost consciousness, which she reported to the police and gave them her shirt as evidence. Semen was found on the shirt and was identified as Kelly’s.
This does not end the charges that R. Kelly faces. He still has to deal with the Northern District of Illinois, where he faces federal charges that include child pornography and obstruction charges. On top of that, in Minnesota, he faces two criminal charges of engaging in prostitution with a minor, and in Illinois, he faces charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. In those cases, he has pleaded not guilty.