​R Kelly found guilty in child porn trial ​

Thursday - 15/09/2022 07:01
Disgraced R&B star R Kelly has been convicted on child pornography charges for making videos of himself abusing his 14-year-old goddaughter.
Jurors deliberated for around 11 hours, beginning on Tuesday afternoon, before returning with a guilty verdict on six of the 13 counts that Kelly had faced. Picture: Antonio Perez/Pool/AFP
Jurors deliberated for around 11 hours, beginning on Tuesday afternoon, before returning with a guilty verdict on six of the 13 counts that Kelly had faced. Picture: Antonio Perez/Pool/AFP

Disgraced R&B star R Kelly was convicted on federal child pornography charges on Wednesday local time for making videos of himself abusing his 14-year-old goddaughter.

The verdict followed a month-long trial in Chicago, Kelly’s hometown, where jurors were shown excerpts of the disturbing footage and heard testimony from the victim, now 37, who was identified only as “Jane”.

Jurors deliberated for around 11 hours, beginning on Tuesday afternoon, before returning with a guilty verdict on six of the 13 counts that Kelly had faced, including three child porn charges, the New York Post reports.

In Chicago, a conviction on just one such count carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five to 10 years.

It comes on top of a 30-year prison sentence handed to the I Believe I Can Fly singer in June after he was found guilty of sex trafficking and racketeering in a separate federal case in Brooklyn.

Kelly, 55, was accused of videotaping himself having sex with underage girls, as well as of rigging his 2008 state trial on child porn charges, for which he was acquitted.

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Jurors deliberated for around 11 hours, beginning on Tuesday afternoon, before returning with a guilty verdict on six of the 13 counts that Kelly had faced. Picture: Antonio Perez/Pool/AFP
Jurors deliberated for around 11 hours, beginning on Tuesday afternoon, before returning with a guilty verdict on six of the 13 counts that Kelly had faced. Picture: Antonio Perez/Pool/AFP
 

Jurors on Wednesday acquitted Kelly of the conspiracy charge alleging he rigged his earlier trial. The jury also found him not guilty of three counts of conspiring to receive child pornography as well as two further enticement charges.

Co-defendant Derrell McDavid, Kelly’s former business manager, was also charged with conspiring to obstruct justice by rigging the 2008 trial, as well as two counts of receiving child porn. Another co-defendant, Kelly associate Milton Brown, faced a count of conspiring to receive child porn. Both were found not guilty on all counts.

Prosecutors during the trial said the Ignition singer was “a sexual predator” who had used his fame to prey on underage girls and record the abuse on video.

“Robert Kelly abused many girls over many years,” Assistant US Attorney Elizabeth Pozolo told the jurors, using the fallen star’s full name.

“He committed horrible crimes against children. … All these years later, the hidden side of Robert Kelly has come out.”

The evidence against Kelly included graphic videos of the Grammy winner abusing his teenage goddaughter — who gave damning testimony against him.
 

The evidence against R Kelly included graphic videos of the Grammy winner abusing his teenage goddaughter. Picture: Scott Olson/Getty Images North America/AFP
The evidence against R Kelly included graphic videos of the Grammy winner abusing his teenage goddaughter. Picture: Scott Olson/Getty Images North America/AFP
 

“That child, who had no prior sexual experiences in her life, was forced to lay on that floor while that man sitting right over there urinated on her,” Ms Pozolo said in her closing argument.

“That degrading act is forever captured on that video. That abuse is forever memorialised.”

Jane testified that Kelly had sex with her “innumerable times”, sometimes along with other teenage girls that he had asked her to recruit.

Kelly’s lawyers, meanwhile, painted the prosecution witnesses as “perjurers, blackmailers and extortionists”.

Defence lawyer Jennifer Bonjean specifically called out Kelly’s ex-girlfriend Lisa Van Allen, who testified that she stole a sex tape from the singer — as well as one of his former associates, Charles Freeman, who asked him for $1 million to return an incriminating sex tape. Both testified with immunity.

“They came in here to tell the government’s version of the truth,” Ms Bonjean said during her closing argument on Tuesday.

This article originally appeared in the New York Post and has been reproduced with permission

Author: Editors Desk

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 Keywords: R-Kelly

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