R. Kelly, the 1990s R&B superstar, was found guilty of all charges against him on Monday, following a trial that included harrowing allegations that he sexually and physically abused and exploited girls and women for decades.
A federal jury in New York convicted him guilty of racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which forbids the transportation of persons for prostitution over state lines in the United States.
A glum expression Kelly sat and listened as the jury delivered their judgment following a five-week trial and two days of jury deliberations. When he is sentenced on May 4 of next year, he could face the risk of spending the rest of his life in prison.
Robert Kelly, 54, had a streak of successful songs in the 1990s, the most famous being "I Believe I Can Fly," which earned a Grammy award in 1996.
However, reports that he was involved in illegal activities with women and minors in his hometown of Chicago lingered for years. Prosecutors claimed that Kelly lured them into his sphere and then physically and sexually abused them for at least two decades. Prosecutors argued that some of the abuse was documented on film that he had shot himself.
Kelly's defense counsel claimed that he was generous to aspiring musicians in the future. He was the victim of overzealous, dishonest fans and lovers who sought to use their ties to him to gain fame after their music careers failed.
Prosecutors, on the other hand, charged Kelly's crew with frequently covering for his illegal conduct. They detailed how Kelly married R&B singer Aaliyah in a Chicago hotel room when she was 15 years old in 1994 and how a member of Kelly's team later bribed a welfare office employee to create a bogus identification card made her appear to be 27 years old. Aaliyah was killed in a plane crash later on.
It's unclear whether any of Kelly's workers will face charges, but Kelly is already facing accusations in Illinois and Minnesota for sex offenses.