American singer R.Kelly likely to be sentenced to life imprisonment after he was found guilty of racketeering in a high-profile s*x-trafficking case after being trailed by accusations of sexual misconduct and abuse for a long time.
The singer has been in custody and on trial in New York for one count of racketeering since he was formally charged in 2019, with 14 underlying acts that included sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping, bribery and s*x trafficking charges. He was also charged with eight additional counts of violations of the Mann Act, a s*x trafficking law that bars the transport of people across state lines “for any immoral purpose.”
Federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York successfully proved to a jury of seven men and five women that Kelly had been the head of a criminal enterprise, whose purpose was to lure girls, boys and women to the R&B singer for his sexual gratification.
In a closing argument that lasted two days, Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Geddes accused Kelly and his entourage of using tactics from “the predator playbook” to control his victims.
It was alleged that his tactics include confining victims in hotel rooms or his recording studio, managing when they could eat and use the bathroom, and forcing them to follow various “rules,” including demanding they call him “Daddy.”
Fifty prosecution and defense witnesses took the stand during the five-week trial, including victims who were identified as “Jane Does” in Kelly’s indictments. There were 45 prosecution witnesses.
H was found guilty of charges including sexual exploitation of a child, bribery, kidnapping, racketeering and s*x trafficking involving six victims. His sentencing in New York is scheduled for May 4, 2022. Kelly faces a possible sentence of 10 years to life in prison.
The singer will face a second federal trial on charges of child pornography and obstruction of justice in Illinois. Some of those accusations are related to a 2008 child pornography trial in Chicago, in which he was acquitted of all charges.
His actions behind-the-scenes attracted greater public scrutiny with the rise of the #MeToo movement, leading to the #MuteRKelly social media campaign, boycotts of his records and protests across the United States.