R. Kelly, the disgraced R&B singer who was previously found guilty of several sex crimes at a Brooklyn trial earlier this year, was found guilty in the second trial of similar crimes – this time in his hometown of Chicago.
The jury reached a verdict after two days of deliberations. Kelly’s charges include four counts of child pornography for making videotapes of himself allegedly sexually abusing his then-14-year-old goddaughter “Jane” decades ago, one of which became traded online in 2002. Each child pornography charge carries a mandatory-minimum of 10 years in prison which would have to be served consecutively.
“Robert Kelly abused many girls over many years,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Pozolo said during closing arguments on Monday. “He committed horrible crimes against children…. All these years later, the hidden side of Robert Kelly has to light. The truth has come out.”
He was charged with five counts of coercing a minor into criminal sexual activity, four counts of doing so for the purpose of producing a video of the conduct, two counts of receiving child pornography; one count of conspiring to receive child pornography, and one count of conspiring to obstruct an investigation.
In all, Kelly was found guilty on six of the 13 charges, including coercing three minors into criminal sexual activity and producing three child sexual abuse videos. He was acquitted of attempting to obstruct an earlier investigation into his abuse. He was previously found not guilty in a 2008 trial centered around his relationship with “Jane” and the infamous 2002 tape where most jurors felt that without her testimony, Kelly was ultimately cleared of the charge.
However, the woman at the center of the 2008 trial testified as jurors were shown three separate videos depicting Kelly abusing the woman when she was underage. She felt compelled after the 2019 documentary Surviving R. Kelly to finally speak out, according to testimony.
“I no longer wanted to carry his lies,” the woman testified.
She told jurors she was persuaded by Kelly to falsely deny to a grand jury she appeared on the tape in question when initial charges were brought up in 2002 and denied the two ever had a sexual relationship. An associate of Kelly also testified he was given hundreds of thousands of dollars to retrieve “stolen tapes” from the singer’s possession.
Kelly’s defense team argued that “Jane” had an immunity deal with prosecutors which protected her from being tried for perjury dealing with the 2008 trial. The woman agreed a deal was in place but stated she was telling the truth in this trial.
Kelly was found guilty in a Brooklyn courtroom last September of racketeering and 14 underlying acts that included sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping, bribery and sex trafficking charges, along with eight additional counts of violations of the Mann Act.
U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly sentenced him to 30 years in prison in June. He still faces sex crime charges in Minnesota.