RNB SINGER R. KELLY CONVICTED OF RACKETEERING AND SEX TRAFFICKING

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Jurors found R&B singer R. Kelly guilty of racketeering, including acts of bribery and sexual exploitation of a child, along with separate charges of sex trafficking.

The jury consisted of seven men and five women. And they took nine hours over two days to reach a verdict, meaning they must have been fairly united in their examination of the evidence.

The verdict comes 13 years after Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges after a trial in the state of Illinois.

Eleven accusers – nine women and two men – took the stand over the searing six-week trial to describe sexual humiliation and violence at his hands. The jury found out that Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, was the ringleader of a violent and coercive scheme that lured women and children for him to sexually abuse.

Kelly was found guilty of nine counts — one count of racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act. Of the 14 underlying acts for the racketeering count, he needed to be found guilty of at least two to be convicted of that count. Jurors found prosecutors had proven all but two of the 14 underlying racketeering acts.

During the trial, prosecutors detailed how his managers, security guards and worked to assist him in his criminal enterprise.

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.

Another woman who testified in court, 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 also revealed the mental torment that Kelly subjected his victims to. So 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“.

During the federal trial, the court also heard how Kelly had illegally obtained paperwork to marry under-age singer Aaliyah, who died in a plane accident in August 2001 after marrying Kelly at age 15.

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.”

Kelly could face decades in prison at sentencing, which is scheduled for May 4.

By Wanjiru Mbaru

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