R&B singer R Kelly was found guilty by a jury of being the mastermind of a decades-long racketeering and sex trafficking operation that preyed on Black women and children. After decades of escaping criminal accountability for many accusations of wrongdoing, the disgraced musician was found guilty on all nine charges on Monday afternoon, in a significant #MeToo win for Black women and girls, as per The Guardian.
The panel of seven men and five women began deliberating the charges on Friday afternoon, after prosecutors and defense attorneys finished their closing arguments at the conclusion of a grueling six-week trial in Brooklyn, New York, that featured shocking testimony detailing Kelly’s abuse of women, girls, and boys. As the judgment was announced, he remained still, his eyes downcast, according to The Guardian. Meanwhile, The 54-year-old singer, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, was accused of operating a criminal organization in Chicago that recruited women and children and subjected them to unwanted sex and mental torture.
Kelly, according to several witnesses, compelled them to follow bizarre and violent desires while they were minors in a conspiracy that spanned more than two decades. Gloria Allred, a lawyer for several of Kelly’s victims, said that “Mr Kelly is the worst” of all the predators she has pursued, including Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein. “R Kelly thought that he could get away with all of this, but he didn’t,” Allred said outside the courthouse. “Despite the fact that he thought he could control all this, he was wrong.”
However, as per The Guardian, Kelly, who is well known for the hit song I Believe I Can Fly from 1996, will face up to 20 years in jail.
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