- A jury on Monday found R. Kelly guilty on all counts in his sex crimes trial in New York.
- Kelly was accused of running a criminal enterprise that transported and coerced women and girls for sex.
- Here’s a breakdown of Kelly’s crimes, which spanned from 1994 to his arrest in 2019.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
After five weeks of harrowing testimony and about 10 hours of jury deliberations, R. Kelly has been convicted of federal racketeering and sex-trafficking charges.
While Kelly – whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly – was originally charged in July 2019, the coronavirus pandemic delayed the singer’s long-awaited sex crimes trial in New York until August.
The trial hinged on accusations that fell under two areas of the law: Racketeering, which is most commonly used to prosecute mobsters and organized criminals, and Mann Act violations. The Mann Act is a federal law that criminalizes the transportation of women and girls for illegal sex. After being convicted on these charges, Kelly now faces 10 years to life in prison.
The R&B singer was accused of running a criminal enterprise comprised of his employees and entourage that recruited and transported women and girls to be sexually abused by him, according to the indictment. Prosecutors alleged that Kelly abused 20 Jane Does and two John Does, but the indictment only referred specifically to six women or girls.
Kelly is still facing additional federal sex crime charges in Illinois, as well as state child prostitution charges in Minnesota.
Here’s a breakdown of all the counts in the New York case:
While the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act – which is known as RICO – usually brings to mind mobsters or gang activity, it has a much broader use.
In Kelly’s case, prosecutors said he ran a criminal enterprise consisting of his managers, bodyguards, drivers, and assistants.
The government charged Kelly with 14 acts of racketeering from 1994 until the time of his arrest in July 2019.
Prosecutors said Kelly’s employees identified women and girls to engage in illegal sex with the singer. When Kelly picked out someone at a concert that he wished to have sex with, people who worked for him would give the woman or girl a wristband to go backstage, according to the indictment.Court documents say the enterprise would also arrange for the women to travel to see Kelly around the US, and took steps to ensure that the multiple women Kelly arranged to see didn’t run into each other during their trips.
The racketeering allegation involving bribery stemmed from one of Kelly’s more high-profile schemes: his marriage to the late singer Aaliyah.
Prosecutors said that on August 30, 1994, R. Kelly and others bribed a public official in the Northern District of Illinois with cash to create a fake ID for an individual identified in court documents as Jane Doe 1. Jane Doe 1 has been widely reported to have been Aaliyah, who married R. Kelly the day after the bribe was allegedly made.
Aaliyah was 15 at the time, but a marriage certificate had identified her as 18. Aaliyah was introduced to R. Kelly by her uncle and record producer, Barry Hankerson, when she was a child. She died in 2001, at 22 years old, when her plane crashed shortly after taking off in the Bahamas.
Also an act of racketeering, prosecutors said R. Kelly kidnapped a woman identified in court documents only as Jane Doe #3 in 2003 or 2004. Prosecutors said that this victim was used for sexual purposes and given a controlled substance while being held against her will.
Sexual exploitation of a child
Prosecutors said Kelly sexually exploited three children while running the enterprise.
Prosecutors said Kelly abused the first child, who was identified in court documents as Jane Doe #2, in Illinois between May and October 1999. They said Kelly and others used the child to produce one or more visual depictions of illegal sexual conduct that was then mailed or transported between states.
Kelly and others used a second child, Jane Doe 4, for the same purpose in Illinois between May 2009 and January 2010, according to the indictment. And Visual depictions of a sex act with a the third child, Jane Doe 5, were made in California between September and December of 2015, according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors also said Kelly used force, physical restraint, and threats to pressure three of his sexual partners to work for him.
The indictment lists Jane Does 4, 5, and 6 as victims of forced labor, which is an act of racketeering.
Mann Act violations
Allegations that Kelly and his team made travel arrangements for Jane Does 3, 4, 5, and 6 to cross state lines for sex, and coerced them into having sex, were charged under the Mann Act. The act criminalizes the interstate transportation of women and girls for illegal sexual purposes.
Jane Doe 4 was under 17 and Jane Doe 5 was under 18 at the time that Kelly had illegal sex with them, according to prosecutors. Prosecutors said the fact that they were minors at the time made the travel a violation of the Mann Act.
Prosecutors also said that Kelly had sex with Jane Does 5 and 6 without telling them he had a positive herpes diagnosis, which is a violation of New York public health law. Violating that underlying New York law makes the transportation and coercion a Mann Act violation.