The R&B artist was found guilty of all 13 counts, which is the latest legal setback for him.
R Kelly, formerly one of the biggest R&B performers in the world, was dealt another legal blow on Wednesday when a federal jury in his hometown of Chicago found him guilty of various child pornography and sex abuse offenses.
On three counts of child pornography and three counts of child enticement, Kelly, 55, was found guilty.
A fourth child pornography count and a charge of conspiring to obstruct justice accusing him of manipulating his state child pornography trial in 2008 were also dropped by the jury, though. In addition to two further enticement allegations, he was found not guilty on all three counts of conspiring to receive child pornography.
On all counts, his two co-defendants were found not guilty.
On Wednesday, the jury sent the court many questions, one of which showed the panellists were perplexed by the case’s complicated legal issues.
One person questioned if they needed to find Kelly having both enticed and forced kids, or just that he had done one or the other. The judge declared that there was just one they needed to find over Kelly’s attorney’s concerns.
At trial, the prosecution tried to portray Kelly as a master manipulator who drew in star-struck devotees, some of whom were kids, and then sexually assaulted and abandoned them.
Robert Sylvester Kelly, who went by Kelly, was driven to find the child pornographic recordings he had created and carried around in a gym bag, according to witnesses. Prior to his 2008 trial, they claimed he offered up to $1 million to locate missing videos, knowing that doing so would put him in jeopardy. Prosecutors claimed that from 2000 until 2020, there was a plot to conceal his mistreatment.
Derrel McDavid and Milton Brown, two of Kelly’s associates, were co-defendants in the Chicago trial. McDavid, Kelly’s longtime business manager, was cleared by the jury of charges that she and Kelly had planned to rig the 2008 trial. Brown, a longtime associate, was found not guilty of obtaining child porn.
Kelly was given 13 charges. Receiving child pornography involves a mandatory minimum term of five years, whereas conviction on even one count of child pornography carries a statutory minimum of ten years.
Judges have the authority to mandate that offenders who have already received a sentence in a different case serve their new term concurrently with the first term or only after it has been completed. 85% of sentences must be completed by federal prisoners
Kelly’s attorney Jennifer Bonjean compared the government’s testimony and evidence to a cockroach and its case to a bowl of soup during final arguments on Tuesday.
She remarked, “You don’t just pluck out the cockroach and eat the remainder of the soup if it falls into the soup. She instructed the jury, “You toss out the entire soup.”
Regarding the prosecution’s case, she remarked, “There are simply too many bugs.”
Prosecutor Jeannice Appenteng presented testimony that Kelly’s inner circle became more focused on following Kelly’s wishes as his fame increased in the mid-1990s as part of her closing rebuttal.
And ladies and gentlemen, R Kelly intended to engage in sexual activity with young girls, the speaker continued.
Jane, Nia, Pauline, and Tracy, the four Kelly accusers who testified, were all identified by their first names or by aliases. Some sobbed when speaking about the abuse, but otherwise, they were composed and certain. Brittany, a fifth accuser, opted not to provide a statement.
As his accusers spoke, Kelly, who was seated close by wearing a suit and a face mask, frequently averted his gaze and looked away.
Jane, 37, was the prosecution’s main witness and a key element of the fixing accusation. Kelly was accused of using threats and inducements to coerce Jane into lying before a grand jury prior to his 2008 trial and to prevent her and her parents from testifying.
The focus of that prosecution was a single film, which state prosecutors claimed showed Kelly molesting a girl of about 14 years old.
When Jane first revealed publicly that the girl on the video was her when she was 14 and that the guy was Kelly, who would have been approximately 30, while testifying on the witness stand for two days at the end of August, she paused, plucked at a necklace, and blotted her eyes with a tissue.
Due to the girl in the video’s lack of testimony, some jurors in the 2008 case claimed they were forced to find Kelly not guilty. When asked why she had told a state grand jury in 2002 that the person in the video was not her, Jane testified at the federal trial in Chicago that she had in part lied because she cared about Kelly and didn’t want to bring him into trouble.
When they first had sex, Jane claimed to be 15 years old to the jury. She replied gently when asked how many times they had sex before she turned 18: “Uncountable times… Hundreds.”
Kelly and Jane originally became acquainted in the late 1990s, when Jane was a junior high student and a member of a teen singing group. She had accompanied her aunt, a professional singer, to Kelly’s Chicago recording studio. Jane informed her parents that Kelly would be her godfather not long after that meeting.
According to Jane’s testimony, when Kelly was confronted by her parents in the early 2000s, he fell to his knees and begged them for forgiveness. She claimed that because she loved Kelly, she begged her parents to refrain from taking any action against him.
Defense lawyers contended that some government witnesses’ accusations against Kelly were motivated by a desire for money and celebrity, and they accused a number of people of attempting to blackmail Kelly. They implied that at least one of his victims was 17 years old at the time Kelly started pursuing her for sex, which is Illinois’s legal consent age.
In her closing argument, Bonjean pleaded with the jury not to believe the prosecution’s characterization of her client as “a monster,” claiming that Kelly was frequently misled and had to rely on others due to his intellectual disabilities.
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