R. Kelly convicted of racketeering in a case involving sex trafficking
R. Kelly was convicted of racketeering by a federal jury on Monday in his sex trafficking trial, in which prosecutors accused the R&B singer of leveraging his celebrity for sex over a quarter-century.
Kelly, 54, who is best known for the 1996 Grammy-winning single “I Believe I Can Fly,” pleaded not guilty to racketeering and eight charges of violating a federal law prohibiting the transportation of people across state lines for prostitution.
Prosecutors attempted to depict Kelly as a predator who exploited his celebrity and attractiveness over a quarter-century to entice women and underage girls into his sphere and then subjected them to horrific physical and sexual abuse, some of which he videotaped.
Kelly’s defense attorneys claimed that he was generous to those around him and that his accusers are liars seeking a payout from book contracts or the media following the failure of their relationships with Kelly or hoped-for music careers.
The jury of seven men and five women began deliberations on Friday afternoon. On Aug. 18, the trial began.