R. Kelly Found Guilty in Sex Trafficking Trial

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.

After two days of deliberation, the jury found Kelly guilty on all the charges he was facing.

Sentencing is due on 4 May and he could spend the rest of his life behind bars.

The jury found 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. 

The singer – most famous for the award-winning song I Believe I Can Fly – was also found to have trafficked women between different US states.

Along with eight counts of sex trafficking, Kelly was found guilty of racketeering – a charge normally used against organised crime associations. 

During the trial prosecutors detailed how his managers, security guards and other entourage members 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. 

“I’m ready to start living my life free from fear and to start the healing process,” added the woman, identified in court as Sonja.

The Testimonies

Over more than five weeks, nearly a dozen victims of R. Kelly took the stand in a New York courtroom to provide harrowing details of the abuse and mistreatment they suffered at the hands of the famous singer.

Many of the 11 women and men, some of whom cannot be publicly identified, describing having sex with R. Kelly when they were underage. They described him as controlling, angry and violent – adding that he required them to call him “daddy”.

Other women say they were forced to write letters of blackmail, including false confessions that could later be used against them.

On 27 September Kelly was found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking charges. He will be sentenced on 4 May.

So what have the victims said about the man now facing life behind bars?

One witness – identified in Kelly’s indictment as Jane Doe No 5 – testified that he repeatedly abused her over the course of a five-year relationship, which began when she was a 17-year-old aspiring singer in 2015.

Now 23, the witness also testified that she contracted herpes at age 17 from the singer after having sex with him. She said he had not told her that he had a sexually transmitted disease, as he was legally required to do.

“This man purposely gave me something he knew he had,” she said. “He could have controlled the situation.” Kelly’s physician later testified that the singer had been prescribed herpes medication since 2007.

When she confronted him, he became “agitated and told me I could have gotten that from anyone. I told him I had only been intimate with him”. When it became impossible for her to have sex due to pain, he complained that her body was “broken”.

Another woman identified by the name Faith later testified that Kelly had infected her with herpes, and a third woman identified by the pseudonym Kate said that she was given a $200,000 settlement from Kelly after she caught the virus from him.

Additionally, Jane said that Kelly attempted to control every aspect of her daily life and would “chastise” her for any perceived disobedience. He would sometimes punish her by spanking her hard enough to leave bruises and make her “skin tear”.

In one incident, Jane testified that Kelly assaulted her with a size 12 Air Force 1 shoe after discovering she had texted a friend about him. “He hit me all over,” she said. “I was running from him and fighting back.”


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