R. Kelly was found guilty Monday (September 27) on all counts in sex trafficking trial.
A jury of seven men and five women found the 54-year old R&B singer guilty of racketeering on their second day of deliberations. He still faces additional federal charges of sexual assault and abuse in Illinois.
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 U.S. Attorney Maria Cruz Melendez argued per Time that Kelly was a serial abuser who “maintained control over these victims using every trick in the predator handbook.”
Moments after the verdict was read, Kelly’s attorney Deveraux Cannick said outside of court that the government “cherry-picked” evidence to support its narrative.
“You didn’t get to see what we saw in terms of the discovery. You didn’t get to see all the inconsistencies,” Cannick said per CNN. “We said in our summation that the government cherry-picked their version that they thought would support the continuation of the narrative.”
Cannick continued, “Why would he expect this verdict given all the inconsistencies that we saw.”
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 shakeup of his legal team.
An attorney for Kelly said the attorney is considering filing an appeal and is disappointed in the verdict. Sentencing his set for May 2022.