Popular singer, R Kelly, found guilty of trafficking, faces life imprisonment

Popular singer, R Kelly, found guilty of trafficking, faces life imprisonment

Popular American singer Robert Sylvester Kelly, popularly known as R Kelly, has been found guilty of multiple racketeering and sex trafficking charges after a six-week trial in New York.

The seven-man, five-woman jury reached its verdict on Monday after being handed the case by U.S. District Judge Ann M. Donnelly. The jury began going over federal racketeering and sex trafficking charges on Friday after legal representation for and against Mr Kelly finished their closing arguments.

R Kelly faced charges including racketeering based on sexual exploitation of children, kidnapping, forced labor, and eight violations of the sex-trafficking statute. He was found guilty on all counts.

Though R Kelly’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 4, 2022; he faces up to 100 years in prison with 20 years for racketeering, and 10 years for each of the sex trafficking convictions.

R Kelly initially had a five-count charge presented before a Brooklyn federal court in July 2019. These charges were modified in March 2020, when additional charges upgraded the case to a nine-count indictment.

The charges cover allegations brought forward by six victims – five women named as Jane Does and the late singer Aaliyah. 

The racketeering charge includes 14 underlying acts covering bribery, three instances where a child was sexually exploited, a kidnapping, three acts of forced labor and six acts of violating the Mann Act which makes it illegal to traffic people across state lines for prostitution.

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