R Kelly convicted of sex trafficking
A US court has found popular singer Robert Sylvester Kelly, popularly known as R Kelly, guilty of sex trafficking.
The award-winning singer, known for hits such as I believe I can fly and The World’s greatest, was accused of one count of racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which criminalizes the transport of people across state lines for the ‘purpose of prostitution or debauchery’.
Media reports in the US indicate he could face up to ten years behind bars.
“Today’s guilty verdict forever brands R Kelly as a predator who used his fame and fortune to prey on the young, the vulnerable, and the voiceless for his sexual gratification,” said Acting US attorney Jacquelyn Kasulis,”
The verdict comes after a month-long trial with explosive testimony from former employees and partners of the singer.
Kelly, who was tried in federal court in New York, pleaded not guilty to all charges last year and has denied all sexual abuse and misconduct allegations.
Allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct have surrounded Kelly for almost two decades.
Thirteen years ago, Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges at an Illinois state trial.
However, in 2018 multiple women started speaking out.
Charges were filed against him in 2019 after the “Surviving R. Kelly” documentary was released.
The singer also faces 13 charges of child pornography and obstruction of justice in Chicago, with a trial date still waiting to be set.
He also faces two criminal charges of engaging in prostitution with a minor in Minnesota.