R. Kelly trial: R. Kelly convicted of racketeering and sex trafficking by federal jury in New York


In this federal case in the Eastern District of New York, Kelly faced a total of nine counts – one count of racketeering, with 14 underlying acts that included charges of child sexual exploitation, kidnapping, bribery and sex trafficking, as well as eight other counts of violations of Mann’s Act, a sex trafficking law.

The jury, made up of seven men and five women, began deliberating on Friday afternoon.

All in all, Kelly could face decades in prison upon conviction.

The verdict comes 13 years after Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, was acquitted of child pornography charges in a trial in the state of Illinois.

The trial began on August 18

Fifty prosecution and defense witnesses testified during the five-week trial, including victims identified as “Jane Does” in Kelly’s indictments. There were 45 prosecution witnesses.
Jane Doe 1 was singer Aaliyah, who died in 2001.

Jurors heard from several witnesses who were present at his marriage to Kelly on August 31, 1994, when he was 27 and she 15. Prosecutors showed copies of the couple’s marriage license application, which indicated that age d’Aaliyah was 18 at the time of their marriage. , as well as their marriage license and marriage certificate.

Kelly’s former tour manager Demetrius Smith reluctantly testified that he bribed an employee at a Chicago-area welfare office to create a welfare ID card for Aaliyah.

“I made her (the case worker) an offer and she took the money,” Smith said. “I gave him $ 500.”

Although the ID card does not mention Aaliyah’s date of birth, an Illinois official said on September 15 that generally a person must be at least 18 years old to get this particular type of ID card. identity.

Nathan Edmond, a minister who married the two, spoke publicly about the marriage for the first time during his testimony on September 1, said he met the couple the day he married them.

“I didn’t think he was someone special. I didn’t understand him at all,” Edmond said.

Jurors also heard from a woman who identified herself only as Stephanie, who said she met Kelly at an event in Chicago in 1999 when she was 17, and that ‘he had finally invited her to his studio.

“I remember he asked me my age,” Stéphanie testified. “When I said I was 17, he said it was good.”

Stephanie said Kelly sexually assaulted her when she was 17 and recorded them having sex. He paid for his trip to Florida to meet him on his 18th birthday and she stopped talking to him shortly after the trip. She said she feared his anger outbursts, saying he would yell at her in public places.

A timeline of the case against R. Kelly

A former radio intern who identified as Sonja testified on September 9 that Kelly invited her to come to Chicago to interview her at her studio in 2003, when she was 21 and a When she arrived, an employee put her in a room that Sonja quickly realized was “locked from the outside.” She said she was kept in the room for several days, sometimes taken out to use the bathroom and shower.

“The door was locked. I wanted to get out,” Sonja testified.

Sonja testified that she passed out after eating her first meal in days and saw Kelly adjust her pants when she woke up. She testified that she believed he sexually assaulted her while she was unconscious.

“I was sexually assaulted,” Sonja said. “There was something in me that was not wanted.”

Testimony on physical and sexual abuse

Another witness, Jerhonda Pace, said she met R. Kelly when she went to attend her trial in the state of Illinois in 2008 on child pornography charges while in high school. She testified that he invited her to his home a year later, when she was 16, and that he sexually assaulted her.

“I told her I was 19,” she testified. “I was 16 years old.”

But she testified that when they had sex for the first time, she told him her real age. Pace said Kelly told him she should “keep telling everyone she was 19 and act 21”. She said Kelly took her virginity and the two had a six-month sexual relationship that ended in early 2010.

Pace said that during a fight, Kelly strangled her “until I passed out”. Pace said that in 2017 she reported the incidents to law enforcement and provided evidence, including a t-shirt she said she wore the day Kelly strangled her. Forensic experts said during Kelly’s trial that the shirt was covered in semen that matched Kelly’s DNA.

A woman who testified under the pseudonym Jane said she was Kelly’s girlfriend for five years, defended him in an interview with CBS’s Gayle King shortly before his arrest on federal charges and continued to be by his side for months after his arrest.

R. Kelly's ex-girlfriend testifies on abuse allegations
Jane testified that she met Kelly in April 2015 when she was a 17-year-old high school student and he invited her to audition for him at a hotel in Florida. She testified that she told Kelly she was 18 years old.

She said she started traveling to meet Kelly at shows he performed across the country, and said Kelly told her he wanted to teach her “musical techniques to improve me as a singer”. Jane said she would contact Kelly’s assistant to book a trip, sharing her legal date of birth with him. She testified that Kelly started having sex with her in May 2015.

“We had sex almost every day,” she said. “Every time we had sex, he would record it.”

Jane testified that Kelly started recording them having sex at the age of 17, using one of the many iPads he carried with him in a backpack.

Jane testified that she was infected with herpes after having sex with Kelly. She also testified that when she was 17, Kelly regularly spanked her, bruising her and tearing her skin. She testified that the spanking led to beatings, and she said Kelly would hit her all over her body and hit her once with a shoe.

“I was trying to run away from him and fight but I was no match,” said Jane.

Witnesses describe life inside R. Kelly's

At the end of the summer of 2015, she told Kelly that she would have to go back to Florida for her senior year of high school and confessed that she was 17.

Jane testified that she got pregnant in 2017 and that Kelly pressured her to have an abortion.

A woman who identified as Faith testified that she met Kelly at a concert in San Antonio in 2017. She said Kelly handed her a piece of paper with her phone numbers on it and they started sending SMS, then talk.

She said Kelly flew her to New York for a show, came to her room early one morning and forced her hand on his penis. Faith testified that Kelly recorded them having sex. When she asked him if he was going to use a condom, he replied, “I don’t need a condom. He didn’t tell her he had herpes, Faith said, and she said she was diagnosed with herpes shortly after their relationship ended in 2018.

Faith testified that on a trip to Dallas, she and a girlfriend named Joy were kept in a van while Kelly and others were in a cigar bar for hours. When she needed to pee and felt like she was overheating, she said she tried to open the door but couldn’t.

Kelly’s legal troubles are not over

Kelly still has legal battles after this trial. In the Northern District of Illinois, he faces more federal charges, including child pornography and obstruction. He also faces criminal charges in Minnesota, two counts of prostitution with a minor, and charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in the state of Illinois.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges and denies any wrongdoing.

R. Kelly pleads not guilty to latest sexual abuse charges
The Indictment of 13 counts published in July 2019 in the Northern District of Illinois accused Kelly of filming himself having sex with at least four girls under the age of 18 starting in 1998. A few years later, after Kelly learned that some of the videos were missing from his “collection,” he and others began paying “hundreds of thousands of dollars” to several people to retrieve them, the indictment said.
Also in 2019, a grand jury in Cook County, Illinois indicted Kelly with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four alleged victims, three of whom were under the age of 17.

This indictment was followed months later by another by a Cook County grand jury on 11 counts ranging from aggravated criminal sexual assault and criminal sexual assault to sexual abuse. aggravated criminal.

In August 2019, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office in Minnesota announced that Kelly was charged with two counts of prostitution with a person under the age of 18. According to the criminal complaint, a woman said the incident happened in 2001, when she was 17 years old.


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