R Kelly convicted on child pornography charges in Chicago trial

·2-min read
R Kelly convicted on child pornography charges in Chicago trial

On Wednesday (14 September), a federal jury in Chicago found R Kelly guilty of sex crimes, including producing child pornography and coercing minors into sex.

Kelly is already serving a 30-year sentence in New York on federal racketeering and sex trafficking charges.

The new verdict found the disgraced R&B artist guilty of six out of the 13 charges brought against him; he was acquitted of fixing his 2008 child pornography trial.

He was found guilty of coercing three minors into criminal sexual activity and producing three child sexual abuse videos.

Each child pornography conviction carries a mandatory-minimum 10-year prison sentence, according to the Chicago Tribune, with the possibility that they would have to be served consecutively.

The “I Believe I Can Fly” singer has faced consistent allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct throughout his career, which he has denied.

R Kelly appears in court in Chicago, Illinois (Getty Images)
R Kelly appears in court in Chicago, Illinois (Getty Images)

In 1994, then aged 27, Kelly married 15-year-old singer Aaliyah at a secret ceremony in Chicago. The marriage was later annulled after the teenager was found to have lied about her age on the marriage certificate.

Kelly faced further accusations of having sexual relations with underage women in 1996, 2001 and 2002.

He was charged with 21 counts of making child sexual abuse videos involving various sexual acts in June 2002, but was acquitted on all counts following trial in 2008.

In 2017, a new investigation by Buzzfeed claimed that Kelly had trapped six women in a sex “cult” having taken advantage of them after they approached him for help with their musical careers.

The singer was accused of controlling the women’s lives, including what they ate and wore, and when they slept, and keeping records of their sexual activity.

The article prompted more alleged victims to come forward, with a six-part documentary titled Surviving R Kelly airing on Lifetime in 2019. It detailed further allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct against the singer.

In July 2019, Kelly was arrested and charged with sex trafficking offences, including possession of child abuse images and obstruction of justice.

Kelly was convicted of racketeering and sex trafficking in September 2021 in New York, after two days of jury deliberations.

Shortly after, a federal judge ordered that the singer stand trial in Chicago on child pornography and obstruction of justice charges.

The trial began in August, with one woman testifying in opening statements that Kelly had sex with her “hundreds of times” when she was between the ages of 15 and 18.

Before his legal troubles began in 2008, Kelly was known to carry a bag of sex tapes around with him, according to court filings.