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Gospel Music Legend & RnB Singer R. Kelly Found Guilty Of Crimes – Chicago Jury

Gospel Music Legend & RnB Singer R. Kelly Found Guilty Of Crimes - Chicago Jury

Gospel Music Legend & RnB Singer R. Kelly Found Guilty Of Crimes – Chicago Jury

Gospel Music Legend & RnB Singer R. Kelly Found Guilty Of Crimes – Chicago Jury

In the second federal trial looking into sexual assault allegations against him, a Chicago jury on Wednesday found R. Kelly guilty of several child pornography and child sex abuse crimes. This was reported by the Associated Press. A Brooklyn judge sentenced the 55-year-old former R&B singer to 30 years in jail in June.

The court proceedings in Chicago, in which two of his accomplices were also defendants, came after Kelly’s federal trial in New York last year, where he was charged with racketeering and sex trafficking following over 30 years of abuse claims made by women and juveniles. Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, became one of the most well-known people in the entertainment world to face legal consequences for sexual misconduct claims that arose or reappeared as a result of the #MeToo movement after that guilty decision.

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In order to provide the jury more evidence, New York’s prosecutors decided to pursue racketeering charges, which are frequently related to cases of organized crime. In the Chicago case, where there were numerous charges, including six counts of child pornography and five counts of enticing a minor into criminal sexual activity, the prosecution took a different approach by alleging two counts of conspiracy to obstruct a federal investigation. These charges were related to Kelly’s 2008 trial, which was also held in his hometown of Chicago.

On Wednesday, Kelly was found guilty on six of the 13 counts against him: three for coercing

Gospel Music Legend & RnB Singer R. Kelly Found Guilty Of Crimes – Chicago Jury

into sexual activity, and three for producing videos of child sex abuse, according to the AP. He was acquitted of conspiring to obstruct a federal investigation and was not found guilty of the remaining enticement and pornography charges. Kelly’s co-defendants, Derrel McDavid and Milton “June” Brown, were cleared of all charges.

Speaking from the lobby of Chicago’s Dirksen Federal Courthouse, Kelly’s defense attorney Jennifer Bonjean said they were “not celebrating any win,” but that they were happy the jury returned seven not-guilty counts in a 13-count indictment. As for Kelly’s reaction, Bonjean said he was relieved to have the trial behind him.

“Mr. Kelly is used to bad news,” she said. “He has a 30-year sentence that is excessive, in my opinion. He still has many fights to fight.”

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U.S. Attorney John Lausch expressed mixed feelings as well. He noted that federal prosecutors were “pleased with the fact that Robert Kelly is finally being held accountable” for his “reprehensible conduct” but said they were “disappointed by the not-guilty verdicts on the remaining counts.”

According to Lausch, Kelly faces 10 to 20 years in prison for each child pornography count and up to 10 years per enticement count.

The singer was arrested in 2019, and was convicted of sexual abuse in federal trials in Chicago and New York. Author Jim DeRogatis explains the cases. (Video: Monica Rodman, Sarah Hashemi/The Washington Post)

Gospel Music Legend & RnB Singer R. Kelly Found Guilty Of Crimes – Chicago Jury

As the hometown of Kelly, who ranked among the most commercially successful R&B artists of the 1990s, Chicago was a complicated backdrop for the trial. On Wednesday, just a few supporters waited for the verdict outside the downtown courthouse. They wiped away tears and shook their heads after he was found guilty on several counts.

After the Chicago Sun-Times received a videotape that seemed to show Kelly sexually abusing and urinating on a kid in 2002, child pornography charges were filed against Kelly in 2003. This was the first time Kelly was indicted on counts connected to sexual misbehavior at the 2008 trial in Chicago. Jurors voted to acquit Kelly on all counts after determining they had no means to confirm the identification of the girl who was allegedly the victim in the tape and Kelly’s goddaughter, who was a child and refused to testify at the time. Following Kelly’s acquittal, one of them stated to the Chicago Tribune that it appeared the goddaughter’s family “was pretty divided about this from the beginning.”

Abdon Pallasch, the former Sun-Times reporter who alongside journalist Jim DeRogatis broke the initial story about Kelly’s abuse allegations, said Wednesday at the courthouse that the verdict was vindicating.

Gospel Music Legend & RnB Singer R. Kelly Found Guilty Of Crimes – Chicago Jury

“We know the acquittal was not deserved,” he said of Kelly’s 2008 trial. “[Today’s] verdict should send a message to young girls victimized by men in authority that they should come forward.”

Pallasch said the verdict is particularly potent for young Black girls in Chicago who were victimized by Kelly and felt they “wouldn’t be believed.”

“I think a lot has changed,” he said. “I hope it’s changed.”

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In early 2019, Lifetime aired a six-part documentary series called “Surviving R. Kelly” that detailed stories from alleged victims and their families. It renewed public interest in the sexual abuse allegations against Kelly and became one of Lifetime’s highest-rated programs in two years. Amid the fallout, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx issued a call for potential victims and witnesses to come forward, stating that “we cannot seek justice without you.”

Gospel Music Legend & RnB Singer R. Kelly Found Guilty Of Crimes – Chicago Jury

In this year’s Chicago trial, prosecutors argued that Kelly, McDavid and Brown conspired to bribe witnesses so they would not cooperate with the investigation years ago. The alleged victim from the videotape, now 37, testified for hours during the trial, in which she went by the name “Jane.” Contradicting the story she and her family stuck to until more recently, Jane testified that she was, in fact, the person seen alongside Kelly in the footage, according to CBS News. She said she previously lied to a Cook County grand jury about it, and that she eventually decided to cooperate with investigators and speak about the time she spent with Kelly because, in her words, “I no longer wanted to carry his lies.”

Jane testified that Kelly abused her hundreds of times while she was a teenager. The AP reported that prosecutors played for the jury excerpts of the videotape they said depicted Kelly sexually abusing Jane. The man in the footage gives the girl graphic commands, according to the AP. At one point, she asks, “Daddy, do you still love me?”

Chicago prosecutors also accused Kelly and his two associates of conspiring to buy b

Gospel Music Legend & RnB Singer R. Kelly Found Guilty Of Crimes – Chicago Jury

ack sex tapes to conceal Kelly’s alleged misconduct. One of Kelly’s former girlfriends, a 42-year-old woman named Lisa Van Allen, testified that McDavid told her in 2007 that she should have been killed instead of paid to return a 1990s videotape of Kelly participating in sexual activity with Van Allen and his underage goddaughter, according to the Chicago Tribune. Van Allen said she was pressured into the encounter and later told to lie about it to a lawyer.

Echoing other women who have accused Kelly of misconduct, Van Allen said she was barred from speaking with or looking directly at other men while Kelly was present, and that he would strike her if she didn’t obey his orders.

McDavid, Kelly’s former business manager, testified in his own defense toward the end of the trial. CBS News reported that McDavid said he believed Kelly’s claims of never having sexually abused Jane, noting that Jane and her family previously denied the allegations themselves. McDavid also dismissed that he was hired to buy back tapes.

Gospel Music Legend & RnB Singer R. Kelly Found Guilty Of Crimes – Chicago Jury

Neither Kelly nor Brown, another longtime employee, testified during the trial. In addition to the New York and Chicago cases, Kelly was hit with charges in Minnesota in 2019 related to solicitation and engaging in prostitution with a minor.

Earlier this month, following Washington Post reporting on the matter, a federal judge in New York ordered the Bureau of Prisons to turn over nearly $28,000 from Kelly’s inmate account to cover some of the $140,000 he owed in court-ordered fines. The sum included a $40,000 penalty to be directed toward a fund for trafficking victims.

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