FINALLY: Disgraced singer R. Kelly has been found guilty of all charges in his sex trafficking trial, following numerous decades-long allegations by young women and children.
R. Kelly had been charged with one count of racketeering and eight counts of transporting people across state lines for prostitution.
He now faces up to 20 years in jail.
Prosecutors said R. Kelly took advantage of his fame to recruit his victims, including some who he allegedly found at his concerts. The charges were based on an argument that the group of managers and aides who helped the singer find girls and keep them quiet meant that he was running a criminal enterprise.
“Today’s guilty verdict forever brands R. Kelly as a predator, who used his fame and fortune to prey on the young, the vulnerable and the voiceless for his own sexual gratification,” Acting US Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulis said.
“[Kelly is] a predator who used his inner circle to ensnare underage girls, young men and women for decades in a sordid web of sex abuse, exploitation and humiliation.
“To the victims in this case, your voices were heard, and justice was finally served.”
Multiple victims testified against R. Kelly during the trial, alleging they were subjected to his sadistic behaviour while they were underage.
His alleged victims included the late singer Aaliyah, who Kelly briefly and illegally married in 1994 when she was 15.
Assistant US Attorney Maria Cruz Melendez argued that R. Kelly was a serial abuser who “maintained control over these victims using every trick in the predator handbook.”
Many accusations against R. Kelly were included in the January 2019 documentary Surviving R. Kelly, which is now streaming on Netflix.