American R&B singer R. Kelly has been found guilty of eight violations of the Mann Act, which pertains to the transportation of a victim across state lines for criminal sexual activity, by a federal jury in Brooklyn.
Kelly was also charged with racketeering by the same jury for his role in an operation recruiting underage girls for sex. Kelly had originally plead not guilty to the charges. The singer will be facing decades in prison during his sentencing hearing in May of 2022. Kelly has been in federal custody since July of 2019.
The trial is one of three set to occur over Kelly’s alleged sexual misconduct and abuse. The singer still faces a trial for federal possession of child pornography and obstruction charges in Illinois, a trial that will be scheduled now that the current trial has concluded, as well as state-level sexual misconduct charges in Minnesota and Illinois.
The new verdict comes after decades of allegations of sexual abuse, grooming, child trafficking, and coercion from the singer. Prosecutors secured 45 witnesses, including a number of his accusers, that provided graphic details of Kelly’s kidnapping, underage sex, physical assault, and threats made to keep those who knew about the actions quiet.
During the trial, Kelly did not testify on his own behalf. His legal procured five witnesses, mostly former employees, who testified that they had never seen Kelly abuse women. The jury took just two days of deliberation before reaching its verdict. Kelly had previously been found not guilty of child pornography possession in 2008.
The lifetime documentary series Surviving R. Kelly had brought renewed public attention to the numerous allegations following Kelly over his career. Kelly’s label, MCA, dropped him soon after the documentary series aired, and one month after its premiere, Kelly was formally charged with ten counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
The verdict comes 13 years after Kelly was acquitted for child pornography charges at a trial in Illinois. Sentencing for this trial will begin on May 4th.