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*On this date in 2021, R. Kelly was found guilty of charges including sexual exploitation of a child, bribery, racketeering, and sex trafficking involving five victims.
After more than 25 years of accusations and a federal court trial in New York that lasted seven weeks, the R&B singer faced a possible sentence of 10 years to life in prison. Kelly sat still as the foreperson gave the jury's verdict to Judge Ann Donnelly. Federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York successfully proved to a jury of seven men and five women that Kelly had been the head of a criminal enterprise whose purpose was to lure girls, boys, and women to the R&B singer for his sexual gratification.
Fourteen alleged underlying acts were associated with the racketeering charge. The jury found that the government had proved 12 of those acts, which involved five victims: the singer Aaliyah as well as women named Stephanie, Jerhonda Pace, Jane, and Faith. Three acts associated with an alleged victim named Sonja were not proved. (Most alleged victims went by their first names or pseudonyms.) The government needed proof of only two of the racketeering acts for a guilty charge.
Image: Jane Rosenberg | Credit: REUTERS