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R Kelly ‘was not anticipating’ guilty verdict, defence lawyer says as star faces decades in jail

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R Kelly’s defence lawyer Deveraux Cannick has said his client “was not anticipating this verdict” after a jury found the musician guilty on all charges at his trial for racketeering and sex trafficking.

The jury returned its guilty verdict in a Brooklyn courtroom on Monday 27 September after less than two days of deliberation.

He was charged with racketeering predicated on criminal conduct including sexual exploitation of children, kidnapping, forced labour and Mann Act violations involving the coercion and transportation of women and girls in interstate commerce to engage in illegal sexual activity.

Speaking outside the court, Mr Cannick told reporters that Kelly was “disappointed” and “not anticipating” the guilty verdict when it was delivered.

He said: “As I said earlier, of course Mr Kelly is disappointed. He was not anticipating this verdict because based on the evidence why should he anticipate this verdict.

“You saw witness after witnesses giving three, four, five different versions as to what they said happened here. The government cherry picked the version that they thought would be a continuation of the narrative that was first put out by Cheryl Mack and Surviving R Kelly.”

Surviving R Kelly was the documentary that first saw multiple accusations of sexual assault against Kelly emerge.

Kelly had pleaded not guilty and denied any wrongdoing.

The 54-year-old now faces 10 years to life in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for 4 May 2022.

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