After six weeks of testimony from over 45 witnesses, the 54-year-old R&B singer R. Kelly was found guilty in sex-trafficking case by a federal jury of seven men and five women in the Eastern District of New York. The singer, who has long denied misconduct allegations against him, was accused of sexually abusing women, girls and boys. He isolated them from friends and family to make them dependent on him. Kelly was found guilty on one count of racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act, a law to curb sex trafficking that bars transporting people across state lines “for any immoral purpose.” The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York confirmed the conviction on Twitter. For two decades, Black women and girls have tried to stress to the masses that he was a predator. The singer will be sentenced May 4 and could face decades in prison, some like the rest of his life. Kelly did not have any reaction to the verdict when it was read in court and, according to his attorney, he was not expecting this verdict.
One of Kelly’s lawyers, Deveraux Cannick, said however he was disappointed and hoped to appeal. Two separate legal cases involving the singer still exist in Illinois and Minnesota. He’s pleaded not guilty to sex-related charges in both states. “To the victims in this case, your voices were heard and justice was finally served,” Acting U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulis said Monday. Robert Sylvester Kelly has been credited with helping to redefine R&B and hip hop. He has sold over 75 million records worldwide. In 2010, Billboard magazine considered Kelly the most successful R&B artist in history and listed him as the Top R&B/Hip Hop Artist for the time period between 1985 and 2010.