R.Kelly found guilty in sex trafficking trial

US singer R Kelly has been found guilty of exploiting his superstar status to run a scheme to sexually abuse women and children over two decades.

Eleven accusers, nine women and two men, took the stand over the searing six-week trial to describe sexual humiliation and violence at his hands.

Following two days of deliberation, the jury found Kelly guilty on all charges he was facing.

Sentencing is due on 4 May and he could spend the rest of his life behind bars.

The jury found Kelley, real name Robert Sylvester Kelly, was the ringleader of a violent and coercive scheme that lured women and children for him to sexually abuse.

The singer was also found to have trafficked women between different US states.

Along with eight counts of sex trafficking, Kelly was found guilty of racketeering – a charge normally used against organised crime associations.

During the trial prosecutors detailed how his managers, security guards and other entourage members worked to assist him in criminal enterprise.

One woman who testified that Kelly imprisoned, drugged and raped her said in a written statement after the verdict that she had “been hiding” from Kelly due to threats made against her since she went public with her accusations.

“I’m ready to start living my life free from fear and to start the healing process,” added the woman.

Another woman who testified in court, Lizette Martinez, said she was “relieved” by the verdict.

“I’m so proud of the women who were able to speak their truths,” she said.

 

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