This story contains discussion of sexual violence. Please proceed with care.
Months after being charged and indicted for nine grave federal crimes, R. Kelly is now facing a potential life sentence after a federal court in New York found him guilty of the charges.
The trial, which began in mid-August of this year, saw Kelly and his legal counsel attempting to push back against the laundry list of claims made over the past several years. Fifty different witnesses — 45 of whom were prosecution witnesses — testified in the trial, and after hearing the testimonies and Kelly's "not guilty" defense, the seven-person jury's deliberation found the singer guilty of one charge of racketeering and eight charges of sex trafficking (related to his violation of the Mann Act).
Official sentencing for Kelly has been set for May 4, 2022, and a judge could very well send him to prison for life. And although the New York state trial is coming to an end, Kelly is still set to be tried for his other charges in his home state of Illinois as well as Minnesota; in Illinois, he's been charged with 13 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and aggravated sexual assault, and in Minnesota, Kelly has been charged with two counts of engaging in prostitution with an underaged person.
The 2019 release of explosive documentary Surviving R. Kelly played an important role in the legal pursuit of the R&B singer, highlighting a laundry list of truly disturbing allegations of sexual violence that spanned the course of decades.
In July 2019, federal prosecutors from both Illinois and New York indicted Kelly on a number of serious federal crimes including racketeering, kidnapping, child pornography production, and child sexual exploitation.
If you or anyone you know has experienced sexual or domestic violence and is in need of support, please call 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732), the National Sexual Assault Domestic Family Violence Service.