R. Kelly the famed R & B Singer was found guilty and convicted by a federal jury on Monday in his sex trafficking trial, where prosecutors accused the singer of exploiting his stardom for several years to lure women and underage girls into his orbit for sex.
Kelly the R&B superstar is known for his anthem “I Believe I Can Fly,” He was conviction comes after decades of avoiding criminal responsibility for numerous allegations of misconduct with young women and children.
Jurors in Brooklyn federal court deliberated for a little more than a day before voting to convict the 54-year-old Kelly on all nine counts he faced, after a 5-1/2 week trial.
Kelly kept his head down as the verdict was read, with his face shielded by a white mask.
A jury of seven men and five women found R Kelly guilty of racketeering on their second day of deliberations.
A woman watching from an overflow courtroom cried as the verdict was read, as did others who had waited to learn Kelly’s fate in a park adjacent to the courthouse. One supporter played the singer’s music there, including the song “Shut Up.”
Deveraux Cannick, a lawyer for Kelly, told reporters that the defense was disappointed. “I’m sure we’ll be appealing,” he said.
Kelly faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years behind bars, and could face up to life in prison at his May 4, 2022, sentencing.
The singer, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly (R Kelly), is one of the most prominent people tried on sex charges during the #MeToo movement, which amplified accusations that had dogged him since the early 2000s.
Like Kelly, many of his accusers were Black, differentiating the case from recent #MeToo convictions of comedian Bill Cosby and movie producer Harvey Weinstein. Cosby’s conviction was overturned in June.
Kelly also had Black supporters.