UNITED STATES—On Monday, September 27, singer Robert Sylvester Kelly, known as R. Kelly, 54, was convicted in federal court in New York by a jury of of one count of racketeering and nine different counts involving sex trafficking.
According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of New York’s press release, Kelly was already charged with racketeering including predicate acts of coercing and transporting minors across state lines for sex.
Charges against Kelly which span a 25 year period included: the sexual exploitation of children, kidnapping, forced labor, and violating The Mann Act, related to his interstate transportation of a victim to New York to engage in illegal sexual activity, and his exposure of her to an infectious venereal disease without her knowledge.
He was charged in a separate federal indictment unsealed in the Northern District of Illinois with federal child pornography and obstruction charges. His trial was held in Brooklyn, New York.
“This investigation was built with the foresight of special agents and detectives assigned to the joint HSI and NYPD Public Safety Task Force, along with prosecutors of the Eastern District of New York. R. Kelly believed he could fly, but it will be justice to see his oppressive wings clipped,” stated Homeland Security Investigator Special Agent-in-Charge Angel M. Melendez.
— US Attorney EDNY (@EDNYnews) July 12, 2019
“The Mann Act (also known as the White-Slave Traffic Act of 1910) is a federal law that criminalizes the transportation of ‘any woman or girl for the purpose of prostitution or debauchery, or for any other immoral purpose,'” states Cornell University.
During the trial, graphic testimony was depicted of R. Kelly repeatedly slapping one of his victims who was forced to call him Daddy, and say over and over again that she was stupid.
Reports indicate that the singer had an enterprise of employees that helped him with his music, and also arrange travel, and lodging for his victims. Testimony revealed that victims were not permitted to leave their rooms, use the restroom, or eat without permission.
Six accusers testified against R. Kelly. One accuser testified that she saw Kelly sexually abuse Aaliyah Haughton while she was still 13-14 years of age, and reportedly a year prior to when Kelly allegedly falsified documents to marry the Aaliyah. Kelly could face up to 100 years in prison.