R. Kelly accuser reacts to the singer’s conviction: ‘I’m ready to start living my life free from fear’

R. Kelly sketch, Sonya
‘Sonya’ told jurors she was an intern at a radio station when she visited R. Kelly in Chicago and was sexually assaulted. REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg
  • A woman who accused R. Kelly of sexual assault says she can live “free from fear” following his conviction.
  • The woman, who testified under the pseudonym “Sonya,” said Kelly assaulted her in 2003 when she was a radio station intern.
  • While Kelly was convicted on all counts, Sonya’s accusation fell under one of two acts on which the jury did not find Kelly guilty.
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A woman who testified against R. Kelly in his federal sex-trafficking trial said she can “live free from fear” after a jury convicted Kelly on all counts.

Famed women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred read a written statement from the woman, who testfied under the pseudonym “Sonya,” to reporters in which she expressed relief that the trial reached a resolution.

Though the jury convicted Kelly – whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly – on all counts, they found him not guilty on two out of 14 acts housed under a racketeering charge. In her statement, Sonya thanked members of the jury for considering her testimony, even though her allegation was included in one of those two acts.

“I’ve been hiding from Robert Kelly due to fear and threats made against me, and I’m ready to start living my life free from fear and start the healing process,” Sonya’s statement read.

Sonya told jurors that she went to Kelly’s home in 2003 to secure an interview with him as a radio intern. Instead, she testified that Kelly trapped her in a room and left her without food and water for more than two days. She told the jury she believes Kelly drugged and sexually assaulted her in the room.

“I thought it would really just kick-start my career,” she testified.

In her statement, Sonya urged other people who believe they’ve been victims of a crime to come forward against their abusers.

“Thank you for shining a light and helping me get out from under that rock that I stayed under for far too long,” she said. “If you’ve been in a similar situation, I urge you to come forward. It will be like a weight lifted off of your shoulders.”