R. Kelly has been found guilty of trafficking in a New York court with the aim of forced prostitution and sexual exploitation, and extortion. According to US media, he is risking years of jail time.
On the second day of deliberations in the assault case against Kelly, a twelve-member jury found him guilty. The case kicked off on August 18th. The musician claims to be innocent himself. The defense calls the women who accuse him “groupies”.
Prosecutors portrayed the 54-year-old musician as a predator, a common term in the United States for sexual abuse suspects. He would have used his fame for more than 25 years to lure and blackmail his victims.
The abuse was organized, according to prosecutors: Kelly would head a group that abused women and girls for decades. In masking the abuse, the singer would have deployed members of his entourage. The New York Times describes the case as the #MeToo moment of the music industry.
The sentence of R. Kelly, who is fully named Robert Kelly, will be decided on May 4 next year. In addition to the New York case, there is also a federal case and two cases in the states of Illinois and Minnesota.
Abuse broadly measured in documentary
Since the 90s, several women have accused Kelly of abuse. He rose to prominence with world hits at that time If I could turn back the hands of time and I believe I can fly.
Sexual abuse was widely reported in 2019 in the documentary Surviving R. Kelly. He was arrested several months after the documentary was released. A producer says on Twitter that she is grateful to the victims: “those who talked, and those who didnt.”