September 27, (THEWILL) – US singer R Kelly has been found guilty of running a scheme to exploit his fame in sexually abusing women and children over two decades.
The verdict comes 13 years after Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges after a trial in the state of Illinois.
Singer R. Kelly did not have any reaction to the verdict when it was read in court and according to his Attorney, Kelly was not expecting this verdict.
Moments after the verdict was read, Kelly’s attorney Deveraux Cannick said outside of court that the government “cherry-picked” evidence to support its narrative.
“You didn’t get to see what we saw in terms of the discovery. You didn’t get to see all the inconsistencies,” Cannick said. “We said in our summation that the government cherry-picked their version that they thought would support the continuation of the narrative.”
Cannick continued, “Why would he expect this verdict given all the inconsistencies that we saw?”
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.
He is due to be sentenced on 4th May, and faces decades behind bars.
Prosecutors accused Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, of using his fame and fortune to lure in victims with promises to help their musical careers.
Several of his victims testified that they were underage when he sexually abused them.
He was also found guilty of violating the Mann Act, a law which bans interstate sex trafficking.
As the verdict was read out in court, Kelly sat still at his desk, according to reporters.
His facial expression was hidden by a facemask that he was required to wear due to the Judge’s pandemic rules.
Unlike the convictions of other celebrities like comedian Bill Cosby and film producer Harvey Weinstein, most of the victims that helped convict Kelly were black.
Many of the allegations were first laid out in the 2019 documentary Surviving R Kelly.
Accusers were sometimes selected from his concert audiences, or were enticed to join him after being offered help with their fledgling music careers after change encounters with the singer.
But after joining his entourage, they found that they were subjected to strict rules and aggressively punished if they violated what his team had dubbed “Rob’s Rules.”
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