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File photo - R Kelly
File photo - R Kelly
Image: Alamy Stock Photo

R Kelly found guilty of racketeering in sex trafficking trial

Several accusers testified during the trial.
Sep 27th 2021, 8:35 PM 22,144 0

R KELLY HAS been convicted in a sex trafficking trial after decades of avoiding criminal responsibility for numerous allegations of misconduct with young women and children.

A jury of seven men and five women found Kelly guilty of racketeering on their second day of deliberations.

The charges were based on an argument that the entourage of managers and aides who helped the singer meet girls — and keep them obedient and quiet — amounted to a criminal enterprise.

At the trial, several of Kelly’s accusers testified without using their real names to protect their privacy and prevent possible harassment by the singer’s fans.

Jurors were shown homemade videos of Kelly engaging in sex acts that prosecutors said were not consensual.

Assistant US Attorney Maria Cruz Melendez argued that Kelly was a serial abuser who “maintained control over these victims using every trick in the predator handbook”.

The defence labelled the accusers “groupies” and “stalkers”.

Defence attorney Deveraux Cannick questioned why the alleged victims stayed in relationships with Kelly if they thought they were being exploited.

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“You made a choice,” Cannick told one woman who testified, adding, “You participated of your own will”.

Kelly, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, has been jailed without bail since in 2019. The trial was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic and Kelly’s last-minute shake-up of his legal team.

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