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Wednesday December 1st

R. Kelly found guilty of sex traficking, racketeering

<p>For more than two decades, R. Kelly has been faced with numerous allegations of child pornography, having sexual relations with minors, and other various sexual assault cases(<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/seattleparks/49535377397/in/photolist-2itgKUZ-2itgL7n-oKsCcL-8yTEo9-9MVX4J-7yeMCw-5nCPgi-7bo3eY-aprwiN-W2DvTX-sf7K66-7vzYNY-DtvK-qMQXDS-ahhVgM-BNNc3-ahi5G4-oXP3gZ-2mArW8Z-26pt5Ea-29WWea8-bkUna-9fY6o-ahi7Ck-7KXtxw-6qCxTy-6qynUe-6qynWa-6qCxCW-6qCxFj-257EWvi-BTiW4C-29WWe8z-25XhBy1-fZFCte-Be98vk-C9dLc3-C9dNNL-pr42KD-C1WAyf-pr3Zt4-C4fxB4-p9xZ4K-2iRZPXm-pr411g-2jwPfFn-obDjyK-p9xYAF-nUrSF9-obWFCD" target="">Flickr</a>).</p>

For more than two decades, R. Kelly has been faced with numerous allegations of child pornography, having sexual relations with minors, and other various sexual assault cases(Flickr).

Hailey Ruane

Staff Writer

For more than two decades, R. Kelly has been faced with numerous allegations of child pornography, having sexual relations with minors, and other various sexual assault cases. In the past, he has escaped plenty of these charges by having charges dropped, and according to The New York Times, Kelly was acquitted during his trial where 11 victims spoke out about their experiences. 

His first action that raised suspicions occurred in 1994 when he was 27. At the time, an underage 15-year-old backup dancer of Kelly’s, Aaliyah, was working with Kelly. According to CNN, witnesses later claimed they had seen them have sexual relations as early as when Aaliyah was 13. When she was only 15, the pair illegally got married, but Kelly acquired fake identification for her to make it appear as though Aaliyah was 18 years old.

Before the marriage was annulled by her parents when it was discovered, Kelly worked with Aaliyah on her debut album, “Age Ain’t Nothin’ But A Number.” At the time, some of the people who Kelly worked with were unsure of what his intentions were, and only, later on, realized the extent that Kelly went. Damon Dash, a former boyfriend of Kelly, told The New York Times, “If people would have protected Aaliyah, so many other girls wouldn’t have gotten touched. Aaliyah was like the sacrificial lamb for all that.”

Tiffany Hawkins, another victim who, according to CNN, was assaulted by Kelly when she was 15. The abuse continued for 3 years, and she ended up suing his record, publishing, and management companies, and the case was settled.

R. Kelly had multiple underage victims leading up to the first videotape Kelly is in, which features him having sex with an underaged girl. According to NPR, There were multiple other videos released, and one woman who was 17 at the time had sex with Kelly because he promised to help further her music career. Later on, she moved into Kelly’s home where he attempted to control nearly every aspect of her life. NPR reported that Kelly once texted the girl, “I want to groom you and be bonded with you one hundred percent.”

Even after all of the allegations, Kelly continuously denied them. According to CNN, as the years went by, all of the allegations built up, and in Feb. 2019 and he was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault. He was jailed and had bail posted for $100,000.

Since then, Kelly has faced more charges but the court dates had to be pushed off due to the beginning of the pandemic, but since then, they have been picked back up.

Kelly had been on trial for 9 allegations since Aug. 18. According to NBC, he had 8 violations of the Mann Act, which is a law put into place involving sex trafficking. The other charge that  Kelly is faced with is racketeering, a crime that is involved with organized crime and involves coordinating illegal acts.  

After just over a month since the trial started, Kelly has been charged guilty on all 9 charges. His sentence will not be decided until May 2, 2022, and Reuters reported that sentencing could end with him facing at least 10 years of jail. The date for the next hearing following May 2 takes place on May 22, and could lead him to face life in prison.

A total of five victims were involved with the charges on Kelly for racketeering, and there were 12 acts within the racketeering charge. The victims involved include five women: Aaliyah, Stephanie, Jerhonda, Jane and Faith. Assistant U.S Attorney Elizabeth Geddes told  The New Yorker that, “he used lies, manipulation, threats, and physical abuse to dominate his victims. He used his money and his public persona to hide his crimes in plain sight.”

According to NBC, Kelly has been in prison since July 2019 due to his ongoing trial from 13 counts ranging from child pornography to obstruction of justice. In August of that year, he had two more charges of prostitution and solicitation added due to an event that occurred in 2001 where he paid a minor to have sexual relations with him.




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