R Kelly Found Guilty in Sex Trafficking Trial

R Kelly Found Guilty in Sex Trafficking Trial 1

On Monday, R Kelly was found guilty of all charges stemming from his sex trafficking trail.

R Kelly, whose legale name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, was found guilty Monday of sexually abusing women, boys and girls for decades. He is facing 10 years to life in prision for his crimes.

Kelly was convicted on 9 counts, including racketeering and violations of the Mann Act, which prohibits the transport of “any woman or girl” across state lines for any “immoral purpose.”

R Kelly sat in court as the New York federal jury read their verdict. The jury, consisting of seven men and five women, unanimously reached the verdict of guilty after two days of deliberations. Kelly is set to be sentenced on May 14.

“This case is not about a celebrity who likes to party a lot,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Cruz Melendez said during her opening statement in August. “This case is about a predator.”

“To the victims in this case, your voices were heard, and justice was finally served,” acting US Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulist said outside court after the verdict. “No one deserves what they experienced at his hands. Or the threats and harassment they faced.” 

This verdict is bittersweet. He’s finally paying for some of his crimes. 13 years ago an Illinois jury acquitted him on child pornography charges. At least there is some justice for some of his victims now.

r. kelly
REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

Jerhonda Pace was the first to take the stand against Kelly. She met him in Chicago when she was 14 and the sexual encounter happened a year later. She stated that he set up a tripod and videoed the incident.

“He wanted me to put my hair up in pigtails and dress like a Girl Scout,” Jerhonda Pace, who is now 28, said on the stand in Brooklyn federal court.

“I went to Rob’s house and he called me a bitch,” Pace said. “He said I was a silly bitch. He slapped me three times and said if I lied to him again it’s not going to be an open hand next time.

“He spit in my face and mouth,” she said. “He choked me during an argument. I had sex with him. I had oral sex with him. I went home and confessed.”

Prosecutors showed jurors how Kelly used a network of friends and employees in his “inner circle” to transport his victims across state lines, control their actions and facilitate the sexual abuse in order prove the racketeering charges against him.

Prosecuters brought forth 45 witnesses against Kelly. Jane Doe 1 was Aaliyah Haughton, known as Aaliyah. Prosecuters had witnesses testify to the fact Kelly married Haughton when she was mearly 15 years old.

“Jurors heard from multiple witnesses who were present at [Haughton’s] marriage to Kelly on August 31, 1994, when he was 27 and she was 15,” the outlet reported. “Prosecutors showed copies of the couple’s marriage license application, which listed Aaliyah’s age as 18 at the time of their wedding, as well as their marriage license and marriage certification.”

R Kelly’s former manager. Demetrius Smith, admitted to bribing a Chicago welfare office employee to create a fake ID for the late singer to use for her marriage to the pedophile.

Another victim testified that she met Kelly when she was 17, stating he invited her to his studio even though he knew she was a minor. She went on to add that he sexually abused her and recorded them having sex.

He was also accused of entrapping a woman in a room at his studio where she was kept for several days and only let out to occasionally use the bathroom and shower. She believed that Kelly visited the room and sexually assaulted her during periods of unconsciousness.

His attorney, Deveraux Cannick stated that Kelly was surprised by the guilty verdict and they would be appealing.

“You didn’t get to see what we saw in terms of the discovery. You didn’t get to see all the inconsistencies,” Cannick insisted. “We said in our summation that the government cherry-picked their version that they thought would support the continuation of the narrative.”

Cannick added, “Why would he expect this verdict given all the inconsistencies that we saw?”

In a statement, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District Jacquelyn M. Kasulis said, “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 own sexual gratification.”

Noting that Kelly 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,” Kasulis added that justice had finally been served.

“To the victims, in this case, your voices were heard and justice was finally served,” Kasulis continued. “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. No one deserves what they experienced at his hands or the threats or harassment they faced about telling the truth about what happened to them. We hope that today’s verdict brings some measure of comfort and closure to the victims.”

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