"I have been practicing law for 47 years," an attorney said. "...Of all the predators that I have pursued, however, Mr. Kelly is the worst, for many reasons."
R&B superstar, R. Kelly, may spend the rest of his life in prison after he was found guilty on all counts in the high-profile sex trafficking case against him.
On Monday, September 27, 2021, Kelly appeared stoic as the verdict was read out in the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn. He "didn't say much of anything," his attorney told reporters about his reaction to the verdict.
"Today's guilty verdict forever brands R. Kelly as a predator, who used his fame and fortune to prey on the young, the vulnerable, and the voiceless for his own sexual gratification," said acting U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulis, as quoted by NBC News.
I was in the courtroom as the jury foreman read the verdict.— Sonia Moghe (@soniamoghe) September 27, 2021
R. Kelly, dressed in a blue suit and blue tie, did not move or look at anyone.
His attorney Deveraux Cannick called the verdict disappointing and said the team would consider an appeal. https://t.co/HV4TkOgO3K
Years ago, when Kelly enjoyed raging success in the industry, he reportedly operated a scheme where he sexually abused women and children over the span of two decades.
In the six-week trial that culminated in Monday's verdict, nine women and two men took the stand and shared the harrowing experiences they went through after getting entangled in Kelly's abusive racket.
Kelly, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, is accused of being the ringleader of the criminal setup, where victims were recruited and groomed for sex. The victims would then be taken to concerts and other events, and they were controlled by Kelly and his entourage.
Kelly had a set of "rules" for his victims to follow, and he would cruelly confine them in hotel rooms or recording studios. They had to call him "daddy" and could only eat and use the bathroom when Kelly said they could.
Three of the six victims that testified in the case were represented by attorney Gloria Allred, who said Kelly is the "worst" predator she has ever gone after since she started practicing.
"I have been practicing law for 47 years. During this time I have pursued many sexual predators who have committed crimes against women and children," Allred told reporters, as quoted by CNN. "Of all the predators that I have pursued, however, Mr. Kelly is the worst, for many reasons."
R Kelly verdict caps decades of abuse that predominantly targeted young Black girls https://t.co/vXyDaekhjA— The Guardian (@guardian) September 27, 2021
"First, he used the power of his celebrity to recruit vulnerable underage girls for the purpose of sexually abusing them...” Allred added. "Second, to use the power of his business enterprise and many of his inner circle employees to assist him and enable him in his plan and his scheme to lure his victims to him, isolate them, intimidate them, control them, indoctrinate them, punish them, shame them, and humiliate them. All of which made Mr. Kelly more powerful and more dangerous than many other sexual predators who operate without a network of financial and businesses to support and enable them."
Several other reasons make Kelly's crimes all the more atrocious, including him having genital herpes and passing the STD to his victims.
One of the women, identified as Sonja in court, said she was imprisoned, drugged, and raped by the singer. She had "been hiding" because of the threats, but after the verdict came out, she said: "I'm ready to start living my life free from fear and to start the healing process."
Local women that worked to mute R. Kelly welcome guilty verdict https://t.co/OUkRfxixA2— Atlanta Journal-Constitution (@ajc) September 27, 2021
Lizette Martinez, who also testified in court, said she was "relieved" to hear the verdict.
She added, "I'm so proud of the women who were able to speak their truths."
Kelly will be sentenced for his crimes on May 4.
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photo by Antonio Perez