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R Kelly convicted in sex trafficking trial

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R&B singer R Kelly convicted in sex trafficking trial

R&B singer R Kelly convicted in sex trafficking trial

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R&B superstar R Kelly has been convicted in a sex trafficking trial in the United States after decades of avoiding criminal responsibility for numerous allegations of misconduct with young women and children.

The 54-year-old singer refused to testify in his own defence, as is his right, as it would have exposed him to cross-examination by lawyers.

A jury of seven men and five women on Monday found Kelly, 54, guilty of all nine counts, including racketeering, on their second day of deliberations.

Kelly wore a face mask below black-rimmed glasses and remained motionless with eyes downcast, as the verdict was read in federal court in Brooklyn.

Prosecutors alleged that the entourage of managers and aides who helped Kelly meet girls – and keep them obedient and quiet – amounted to a criminal enterprise. Two people have been charged with Kelly in a separate federal case pending in Chicago.

In his closing argument to the federal court, Kelly’s lawyer, Deveraux Cannick, portrayed the singer’s accusers as former fans and jilted lovers hoping to cash in on his fame with book contracts and media appearances – such as in the 2019 documentary Surviving R Kelly.

“They’re monetising. They know what the game is. They’re surviving off of R Kelly,” Mr Cannick said, before invoking the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr as he implored jurors to summon “the courage” to acquit the singer

Kelly faces separate criminal charges in federal court in Chicago, and state charges in Illinois and Minnesota.