54-year-old American singer and music producer R. Kelly was found guilty of harassment of women and children, as well as human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Yesterday, a jury in New York found that the author of the hit I Believe I Can Fly had committed crimes and avoided responsibility for his actions for more than two decades.
The lawsuit against the musician, filed by the federal attorney's office in New York, included 13 counts: R. Kelly was found guilty in all of them. The website of the US Department of Justice clarifies that the musician was accused of extortion, human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation, as well as sexual abuse of a child.
During the trial, 11 prosecutors (nine women and two men) described how R. Kelly became victims. They claim that people close to the musician lured them and kidnapped them, after which R. Kelly himself committed sexual assault on them. Now the singer faces a real prison term up to life. However, the final verdict in this case will be delivered only in May 2022.
One of the musician's victims, Jerhonda Pace, reacted emotionally to the conviction against R. Kelly. On her Instagram, she told how she feels after the restoration of justice:
I am finally happy to close this chapter of my life. It doesn't matter what you think of me or how you feel about it. Today I made history. I was hiding from Robert Kelly (real name R. Kelly. – Ed.) And lived in fear of threats against me. Now I am finally ready to start healing from the trauma of the past and live my life.
R. Kelly and Lady Gaga
Earlier R. Kelly was already accused of pedophilia and distribution of child pornography, but he always avoided real punishment. According to rumors, the musician committed his crimes between 1998 and 2010. At the same time, the first talk about the inclinations of R. Kelly began in 1994, when he secretly married the 15-year-old singer Aaliyah. In the early 2000s, the music producer was accused of harassment by a 17-year-old intern, and then two lawsuits were filed against him for making child pornography. In 2017, the Buzzfeed portal published an article in which it also accused R. Kelly of creating a sex sect where six girls were held against their will.
Aaliyah and R. Kelly