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R. Kelly Found Guilty on All Counts in Sex Trafficking Trial

R. Kelly
Monday, over 25 years after his marriage to Aaliyah, then 15, first raised concerns about his proclivities and following decades of allegations of misconduct with young women and children, R&B superstar R. Kelly was found guilty of charges including sexual exploitation of a child, bribery, racketeering and sex trafficking. 

The 54-year-old, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, faces 10 years to life in prison following the conviction. A jury of seven men and five women found Kelly guilty on all counts brought against him by the Eastern District of New York in the federal case. 

“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,”  said Jacquelyn Kasulis, acting US attorney from the Eastern District of New York.

R. 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.

Kelly was facing nine counts — one count of racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which makes it illegal to take anyone across state lines “for any immoral purpose." Of the 14 underlying acts for the racketeering count, he needed to be found guilty of at least two to be convicted of that count. Jurors found prosecutors had proven 12 of those acts with five victims, including the late Aaliyah.

“Robert Kelly is a serial sexual predator who used his fame and musical tours as his personal hunting grounds to find his victims,” Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent-in-Charge Peter Fitzhugh said.  “Mr. Kelly ran a criminal enterprise whose mission was to serve his sexual gratification by setting up a complex organization of enablers and handlers.  When his victims tried to escape, Mr. Kelly and his accomplices silenced them through bribery, intimidation, and physical violence."

Fitzhugh added, "The brave survivors who overcame Mr. Kelly’s abuse deserve our upmost respect for telling their stories and bringing an end to his 30-year reign of terror over the young and vulnerable.”

Sentencing is scheduled for May 4.

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