R Kelly has finally been found guilty of abusing women and children in sex trafficking case after more than 20 years of allegations.
Eleven accusers – nine women and two men – took to the stand over six weeks to describe the acts of abuse, violence, and sexual humiliation they had suffered at the hands of the singer
During the trial, the court also heard of how he’d illegally obtained paperwork to marry then-underage singer Aaliyah, who died in a plane crash in 2001.
A jury of 7 men and 5 women reached its guilty verdict after deliberating the case for two days.
They found that Kelly – full name Robert Sylvester Kelly – was the ringleader of a violent scheme that lured women and children for him to sexually abuse for two decades.
Prosecutors said that Kelly took advantage of his stardom to recruit victims, often picking them from concerts or preying on musicians who were hoping to get their break.
At least two of Kelly’s entourage have pleaded guilty in separate cases relating to attempts to silence Kelly’s accusers.
One of the women who testified that Kelly had imprisoned, drugged, and raped her said in a written statement she had “been hiding” from Kelly “due to threats made against me” since she went public with her accusations.
“I’m ready to start living my life free from fear and to start the healing process,” the woman, identified as Sonja, added.
R. Kelly was found guilty in NY for a decades-long scheme to recruit and sexually abuse women and children.
▪️ 6 accusers who testified were underage at time of abuse
▪️ First time faced charges for marriage to Aaliyah when she was 15
▪️ Faces more sex crime charges in MN, IL pic.twitter.com/4D91KUKBhq
— AJ+ (@ajplus) September 27, 2021
Kelly was also found guilty of racketeering – a charge normally used against organised crime associations.
Prosecutors detailed how managers, security guards and other entourage members of Kelly’s assisted him in his criminal enterprise.
Documents revealed the extent of Kelly’s abuse, where his victims could not eat or use the bathroom without his permission, they had to wear what Kelly wanted them to wear him and they were forced to call him “Daddy”.
Despite his grotesque actions, a group of R Kelly fans gathered outside the courthouse, blasting his music and voicing their continued support for him.
R Kelly supporters play his music outside of the courthouse. “We’re not giving up on R Kelly!” one supporter yells. pic.twitter.com/dDjyNsAnsk
— Alanna Vagianos (@AlannaVagianos) September 27, 2021
A lawyer for some of Kelly’s victims, Gloria Allred, has also been involved in high-profile cases against Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein. “Of all the predators that I have pursued, Mr Kelly is the worst.” she told reporters.
Attorney Gloria Allred, who represented several of accusers in the case against R. Kelly, said after his guilty verdict that the R&B singer is the worst predator she has ever pursued https://t.co/nQnma0o5hC pic.twitter.com/eTRSDw5y3P
— Reuters (@Reuters) September 27, 2021
Kelly is still yet to face trial in Chicago on child pornography and obstruction charges, as well as sex abuse charges in Illinois and Minnesota.
Many of the allegations heard in the trial were first laid out in the 2019 documentary Surviving R Kelly.