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R Kelly trial: Singer faces decades in jail after jury verdict finds him guilty in sex trafficking case

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Singer R Kelly has been convicted by a jury in New York on charges of racketeering and sex trafficking at the end of a six-week trial.

The jury returned its guilty verdict in a Brooklyn courtroom on Monday afternoon, after less than a day of deliberations.

Kelly sat motionless as the convictions against him were read out.

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

He was also charged with four counts of violating the Mann Act related to his interstate transportation of a victim to New York to engage in illegal sexual activity, and his exposure of her to an infectious venereal disease without her knowledge.

Kelly had pleaded not guilty and denied any wrongdoing but he will now be sentenced on 4 May and faces decades behind bars.

Follow the latest updates with our live blog below:

Key Points

  • R Kelly convicted of racketeering by a federal jury in Brooklyn

  • R Kelly convicted after short jury deliberation

  • Verdict is first conviction against singer after 20 years of allegations

  • R Kelly sat ‘motionless’ in courtroom as he was convicted

20:10 , Clemence Michallon

A jury of seven men and five women has reached a verdict in R Kelly’s federal trial.

The verdict hasn’t been announced yet but is expected to be revealed soon. The judge in the case has summoned the parties to a courtroom in Brooklyn for the verdict to be read.

The jury began deliberating on Friday afternoon, meaning the verdict was reached after less than a full day of deliberations.

Singer faces string of charges

20:16 , Graeme Massie

Kelly has been on trial in New York on one count of racketeering, with 14 underlying acts that included sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping, bribery, and sex trafficking charges.

The singer was also charged with eight additional counts of violations of the Mann Act, a sex trafficking law.

Racketeering is most commonly used in organised crime cases but can also be used to prosecute any ongoing coordinated illegal scheme or criminal enterprise to carry out a common purpose.

R Kelly convicted of racketeering by a federal jury in Brooklyn

20:18 , Graeme Massie

R Kelly convicted after short jury deliberation

20:20 , Graeme Massie

Kelly had been on trial in New York and was found guilty on one count of racketeering, with 14 underlying acts that included sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping, bribery, and sex trafficking charges.

The singer was also charged with eight additional counts of violations of the Mann Act, a sex trafficking law.

The jury were only given the case on Friday afternoon and returned a verdict on Monday afternoon.

Verdict is first conviction against singer after 20 years of allegations

20:24 , Graeme Massie

The verdict is the first criminal conviction against R Kelly. In 2008, he was acquitted by a Cook County jury of child pornography charges alleging he videotaped himself having sex with a girl as young as 13.

R Kelly sat ‘motionless’ in courtroom as he was convicted

20:28 , Graeme Massie

Singer sat motionless in court as he was convicted of nine counts of the racketeering and sex-trafficking charges against him, according to The New York Times.

R Kelly will be sentenced on 4 May

20:44 , Graeme Massie

The singer will be sentence on 4 May after being convicted in Brooklyn, New York, on racketeering and sex trafficking charges.

Kelly was convicted by a jury of seven men and five women in federal court after just two days of deliberations.

The R&B star’s lawyer said they are disappointed with verdict and considering an appeal, according to CNN.

Gloria Allred welcomes R Kelly verdict

20:55 , Graeme Massie

The women’s rights attorney represented a number of the women for whom charges were filed, and spoke about the verdict outside the Brooklyn courthouse.

“We understand that justice moves at a glacial pace,” she said about the decades it has taken to convict Kelly.

 (AP)
(AP)

Kelly’s longstanding lawyer defends singer and slams verdict

21:01 , Graeme Massie

“We are extraordinarily disappointed in the verdict was returned by the New York jury today. Mike Leonard and myself believe that the verdict was not supported by the evidence and instead is a reflection of the hysteria whipped up by a couple of TV shows,” said Steve Greenberg on Twitter.

“We intend to continue to fight on R Kelly’s behalf to ensure that everything is being done that can possibly be done.”

Mr Greenberg and Michael Leonard asked the federal judge to step back from the case weeks before it began, with other lawyers in the case saying that the two were fired by Kelly.

Acting US Attorney reacts to R Kelly convictions

21:15 , Graeme Massie

“No one deserves what they experienced at his hands or the threats and harassment they faced in telling the truth about what happened to them,” Jacquelyn Kasulis, acting U.S. attorney, says after the singer was convicted on all charges at his racketeering and sex trafficking trial.

“We hope that today’s verdict brings some measure of comfort and closure.”

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

R Kelly lawyer says singer did not expect guilty verdict

21:20 , Graeme Massie

Kelly’s lawyer Deveraux Cannick said outside of a Brooklyn court that prosecutors “cherry-picked” evidence to support its claims against the singer.

“You didn’t get to see what we saw in terms of the discovery. You didn’t get to see all the inconsistencies,” Mr Cannick said.

“We said in our summation that the government cherry-picked their version that they thought would support the continuation of the narrative.”

And Mr Cannick added: “Why would he expect this verdict given all the inconsistencies that we saw.”

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

R Kelly will always be known as ‘predator’ say prosecutors

21:33 , Graeme Massie

The singer will always be known as a predator after his convictions, said Acting US Attorney from the Eastern District Jacquelyn Kasulis outside court in Brooklyn, New York.

She said that Kelly, who will now spend decades behind bars, is “a predator who used his inner circle to ensnare underage girls and young men and women for decades, in a sordid web of sex abuse, exploitation and humiliation.”

And she added: “This conviction would not have been possible without the bravery and resilience of R Kelly’s victims. I applaud their courage in revealing in open court, the painful, intimate and horrific details of their lives with him.”

 (AP)
(AP)

First accuser to testify against R Kelly reacts on social media

21:45 , Graeme Massie

Jerhonda Pace, was one of the earliest of Kelly’s victims to make her accusations against him public in 2017.

Following the verdicts she posted a simple message on Instagram about Kelly’s conviction on racketeering and sex trafficking charges.

“Verdict? GUILTY,” she wrote.

 (Instgram)
(Instgram)

Dream Hampton reacts to R Kelly conviction

22:01 , Graeme Massie

Dream Hampton, the executive producer of Lifetime’s Surviving R Kelly documentary has reacted to the conviction of R Kelly on racketeering and sex trafficking charges.

The 2019 documentary series has been credited with highlighting the accusations against the singer, who now faces decades behind bars.

“Grateful to the survivors. The ones who talked and the ones who didn’t,” Ms Hampton tweeted.

Gloria Allred calls R Kelly ‘worst predator’ of her 47-year legal career

22:35 , Graeme Massie

Victim’s rights attorney Gloria Allred represented three of the six victims who testified in the case.

“First, he used the power of his celebrity to recruit vulnerable underage girls for the purpose of sexually abusing them. These were not May-October relationships, which is what his defense attorney wanted the jury to believe — these were crimes against children and some adults,” Ms Allred said after the conviction.

“Second, to use the power of his business enterprise and many of his inner circle employees to assist him and enable him in his plan and his scheme to lure his victims to him, isolate them, intimidate them, control them, indoctrinate them, punish them, shame them, and humiliate them

“All of which made Mr. Kelly more powerful and more dangerous than many other sexual predators who operate without a network of financial and businesses to support and enable them.”

And she added: “I have been practicing law for 47 years. During this time I have pursued many sexual predators who have committed crimes against women and children.

“Of all the predators that I have pursued, however, Mr. Kelly is the worst, for many reasons.”

Attorney Gloria Allred speaks to the media on the guilty verdict of R Kelly at the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse, Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, in New York. (AP)
Attorney Gloria Allred speaks to the media on the guilty verdict of R Kelly at the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse, Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, in New York. (AP)

Aaliyah fans say ‘justice’ has arrived after R Kelly guilty verdict

22:56 , Graeme Massie

Aaliyah fans have been reacting to the news that R Kelly has been found guilty on all charges at his trial for racketeering and sex trafficking.

A jury of seven men and five women reached the verdict on Monday afternoon after less than a day of deliberations.

Elizabeth Aubrey has the story.

Aaliyah fans say ‘justice’ has arrived after guilty R Kelly verdict

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

23:32 , Graeme Massie

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.

Elizabeth Aubrey has more.

R Kelly ‘was not anticipating’ guilty verdict, defence lawyer says

R Kelly still faces trial in four Illinois cases and one federal indictment

23:56 , Graeme Massie

Kelly faces significant prison time after being convicted on racketeering and sex trafficking charges in Brooklyn, New York, and it remains to be seen what other prosecutors will now do.

Steve Greenberg, who along with Michael Leonard represents Kelly on his remaining Chicago cases, did not represent him in the New York case.

“If they want to proceed (on remaining cases), we’re going to be ready to defend them,” Greenberg told The Chicago Tribune.

“We’ll figure something out, how we’re going to proceed. I think everyone needs to take a deep breath and then go from there. ... I think anything and everything is possible and we’ll just have to see how it plays out.”

 (AP)
(AP)
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