After his conviction, R. Kelly faces life in prison and more trials

A federal jury in New York convicted the R&B superstar, better known as R. Kelly, on multiple counts of racketeering and sex trafficking charges.

The singer, 54, faced nine counts and 14 underlying acts, including sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping, bribery, and sex trafficking charges.

Kelly also faced eight additional violations of the Mann Act, which punishes predators for taking minors across state lines for sexual or other nefarious purposes.

With his sentencing scheduled for May 4, 2022, Kelly faces 10 years to life in prison.

He still faces trial for similar accusations in Chicago and Minnesota.

His lawyers said he would appeal the verdicts.

“He believed he could lie,” Kimberlé Crenshaw, law professor and executive director of the African American Policy Forum, noted in an apparent take on one of Kelly’s biggest songs, ‘I Believe I Can Fly.’

R. Kelly faces life in prison when he’s sentenced next year. (Nicholas Ballasy via wikimedia commons)

“But the truth finally caught up with him. It shouldn’t have taken this many women, and this many years for Black women to be believed and valued. Now is the time for soul searching.”

Acting U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulis offered that the verdict “forever brands R. Kelly as a predator who used his fame and fortune to prey on the young and vulnerable.”

Kelly had dodged allegations for decades, all the while making music that includes hits like ‘Home Alone’ and ‘Trapped in the Closet.’

In 2008, a jury in Chicago acquitted Kelly of child pornography charges after playing a sketchy video that purportedly showed the singer with a girl they believed was his goddaughter.

That trial came after a 2002 indictment on charges Kelly videotaped himself engaging in sex with his goddaughter sometime between 1998 and 2000.

Prosecutors alleged at the time that the girl’s age was 13. During a 2002 grand jury appearance, his goddaughter, now 23, also denied her involvement in the tape at the indictment.

After the trial, several of the jurors said that they believed Kelly was the man in the tape, but they couldn’t be sure of the identity of his female accuser, who refused to testify.

In the end, Kelly’s conviction on September 27 had everything to do with the documentary series, Surviving R. Kelly.

The 2019 documentary catapulted back into the spotlight the decades-long sex allegations against Kelly.

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