US singer R Kelly is guilty of sexual abuse charges following a six-week trial. His real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly.
R Kelly could the the rest of his life behind bars, depending on his sentencing.
Two men and nine women testified in describing sexual humiliation and violence in the hands of the superstar who used his superstar status to run a scheme to sexually women and children dating over two decades.
Judge Ann M. Donnelly, Eastern District of New York is presiding over the trial, in which cameras are not allowed in the courtroom.
The award winning singer is guilty of eight count of sex trafficking and so guilty of racketeering.
Prosecutors detailed during trial, how R Kelly’s managers, security guards and other entourage members worked to assist him in his crime.
One woman who testified that Kelly imprisoned, drugged and raped her said in a written statement after the verdict that she had “been hiding” from Kelly due to threats made against her since she went public with her accusations, the BBC reports.
“I’m ready to start living my life free from fear and to start the healing process,” a woman who testified as Sonja added.
Another woman, Lizette Martinez, said she was “relieved” by the verdict.
“I’m so proud of the women who were able to speak their truths,” she added.
Legal documents have revealed the mental torment that Kelly subjected his victims to. They were not allowed to eat or use the bathroom without his permission, he controlled what clothes they wore and made them call him “Daddy”.
Gloria Allred, a lawyer who represented several victims, told reporters: “I’ve been practicing 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 court on Monday, prosecutor Jacquelyn Kasulis said that the jury had sent a message to other powerful men like Kelly.
“No matter how long it takes, the long arm of the law will catch up with you,” said Ms Kasulis.
The verdict comes 13 years after Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges after a trial in the state of Illinois.
Many of the allegations heard in the trial were first laid out in the 2019 documentary Surviving R Kelly.
Victims were sometimes selected from his concert audiences, or were enticed to join him after being offered help with their fledgling music careers after chance encounters with the singer.
But after joining his entourage, they found that they were subjected to strict rules and aggressively punished if they violated what his team had dubbed “Rob’s rules”.
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