Singer R. Kelly has been convicted of racketeering and sex trafficking after a monthslong trial.
Kelly was found guilty on one count of racketeering — which is often connected to organized crime — and eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which is aimed to stop sex trafficking, per The Washington Post.
- It’s unclear how long his sentence will be, but he could face “decades of prison time,” according to The Washington Post.
The verdict came after five weeks of testimony from more than 50 witnesses, according to The Washington Post.
- The jury — which was made up of seven men and five women — began deliberating on Friday before making a decision Monday.
According to The New York Times, the R&B singer was found guilty “of being the ringleader of a decades-long scheme to recruit women and underage girls for sex.”
- The case was one of the highest-profile cases during the #MeToo-era. The majority of the accusers were Black women and “the trial was widely seen as a test of the inclusivity of the broader movement to hold powerful men accountable for sexual misconduct,” per The New York Times.
Kelly’s attorney Deveraux Cannick said that Kelly was not expecting this verdict, according to CNN.
- “You didn’t get to see what we saw in terms of the discovery. You didn’t get to see all the inconsistencies,” Cannick said. “We said in our summation that the government cherry-picked their version that they thought would support the continuation of the narrative.”
- Cannick added, “Why would he expect this verdict given all the inconsistencies that we saw.”