HomeNewsWorldR. Kelly To Face Life Imprisonment For Sexually Assaulting Women & Children

R. Kelly To Face Life Imprisonment For Sexually Assaulting Women & Children

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US R&B superstar Robert Sylvester Kelly well known as R. Kelly has been found guilty of exploiting his status after being convicted of sexually abusing women and children over two decades.

The singer was convicted of federal racketeering and sex trafficking charges for a decades-long scheme to recruit women and underage girls for sex. Once one of the biggest names in popular music, he could face decades in prison.

The conviction of R. Kelly on all nine counts against him came as a significant moment in the Me Too movement for both Black women and for the music industry, ushering in a sense that, finally, justice had been served.

During the trial, prosecutors detailed how his managers, security guards and other entourage members worked to assist him in his criminal enterprise.

One woman who testified that Kelly imprisoned, drugged and raped her said in a written statement after the verdict that she had “been hiding” from Kelly “due to threats made against me” since she went public with her accusations.

“I’m ready to start living my life free from fear and to start the healing process,” the woman, identified in court as Sonja, added.

Federal prosecutors also accused Mr. Kelly of paying witnesses to not cooperate with the authorities in the lead-up to his 2008 trial and acquittal. They said the singer let some witnesses know they could be “subject to physical harm” if they proceeded.

Legal experts and people who study sexual abuse have also suggested that the race of most of Mr. Kelly’s accusers likely played a role. Experts say Black women have historically been far more likely than white women to have their accusations about sexual misconduct distrusted or ignored.

“Our reality is that our society just does not view Black women and girls as credible,” said Kenyette Barnes, a co-founder of the Mute R Kelly campaign. “We assume that 15-year-old Black girls have the cognitive ability to manipulate a grown man.”

Gloria Allred, a lawyer who represented several victims, told reporters: “I’ve been practicing law for 47 years. During this time, I’ve pursued many sexual predators who have committed crimes against women and children.

At a news conference outside the court on Monday, prosecutor Jacquelyn Kasulis said that the jury had sent a message to other powerful men like Kelly.

“No matter how long it takes, the long arm of the law will catch up with you,” said Ms Kasulis.
The verdict comes 13 years after Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges after a trial in the state of Illinois.

Many of the allegations heard in the trial were first laid out in the 2019 documentary Surviving R Kelly.

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