R. Kelly found guilty of six counts at a federal trial in Chicago; co-accused acquitted

Disgraced singer R. Kelly was found guilty on Wednesday of multiple child pornography charges accusing him of sexually abusing his 14-year-old goddaughter on video nearly 20 years ago, but jurors acquitted him of the charges. charges of conspiring with two associates to conceal the tapes and to obstruct justice in his 2008 child pornography trial in Cook County.

Kelly, 55, was found guilty of three counts of child pornography and three counts of incitement to sex with minors, but acquitted of seven other counts, including obstruction of justice and conspiracy to receive child pornography. Each of the child pornography counts carries a sentence of up to 20 years, and the incitement charges each carry a sentence of up to 10 years.

Co-defendants Derrell McDavid and Milton “June” Brown were acquitted of all charges.

Jurors deliberated for about 11 hours over two days before reaching their verdict.

Kelly was found guilty on three of four counts accusing him of producing child pornography by filming himself having sex with his underage goddaughter, who testified against him under the pseudonym “Jane”. The jurors saw excerpts from these three videos in court. Jurors acquitted him on a fourth child pornography charge involving a tape that Jane and prosecutors said showed Kelly having a threesome with Jane and his ex-girlfriend, Lisa Van Allen, but that tape didn’t was not shown in court. Prosecutors had argued that it was because Kelly and her team managed to cover it up.

Jurors acquitted Kelly and McDavid, his former business manager, of a charge of conspiracy to obstruct justice which accused them of rigging his 2008 child pornography trial in Cook County by concealing sex tapes incriminating, and intimidating and paying Jane and her parents to keep her abuse a secret.

Kelly, McDavid and Brown were also acquitted of conspiracy to receive a child pornography charge accusing them of attempting to retrieve and conceal three sex tapes involving Jane. Kelly and McDavid were also acquitted of two charges of receiving child pornography, involving further allegations that they attempted to retrieve and conceal other videos involving Jane. The government’s case for these charges relied heavily on the testimony of Charles Freeman and Lisa Van Allen, whom defense attorneys described as liars to extort money from Kelly.

Finally, Kelly was found guilty of three of the five counts accusing him of inciting minors to engage in sexual activity, but acquitted of two other counts. Jurors found him guilty of incitement charges involving Jane and two other accusers testifying under the aliases “Nia” and “Pauline”, while acquitting him of incitement charges involving accusers “Tracy” and ” Brittany”.

Jane had accused Kelly of sexually assaulting her hundreds of times after becoming her godfather when she was just 14. Prosecutors showed the jury three videos they said showed Kelly having sex with Jane, including one that showed him telling her to lie on the floor while he urinated on it.

Nia had testified that she first met Kelly in 1996, when she was just 15, and that they had two sexual encounters, one at a hotel during her concert tour in Minnesota, and another later that year at his music studio in Chicago.

Pauline testified that Jane introduced her to Kelly when she was just 14, and the three soon began having threesomes, before Pauline began her own sexual relationship with Kelly alone at the 15 years old. She estimated that she had sex with Kelly over 80 times. and had 60 threesomes with Kelly and Jane between the ages of 14 and 16.

Tracy testified that she met Kelly in 1999 when she was an off-the-books intern for an Epic Records executive, and claimed that, when she was just 16, Kelly had “imposed” on her in a downtown Chicago hotel. She said the two later developed a sexual relationship that continued beyond her 17th birthday. But defense attorneys have cast doubt on her claims, pointing to an earlier lawsuit she filed against Kelly in which she claimed they met and began having sex in 2000, when she was 17 years old.

Brittany did not testify at trial, and while Jane and Pauline testified that they had threesomes with Kelly and Brittany when they were just girls, defense attorneys seized on the fact that Brittany n didn’t testify herself, asking jurors in closing arguments “Where’s Brittany!”

Before the jury began their deliberations, Kelly’s lead defense attorney asked the jurors to put aside what they knew about the singer before the trial, acknowledging that most of that information was probably not favorable, and to treat him like a “John Doe”. Bonjean said the jury must make their decision based solely on the evidence heard in the courtroom, not on what they might know about Kelly through the media or what they heard at her subject elsewhere.

Bonjean said that no matter what the jurors might decide, Kelly did some great things when it came to making music, and he shouldn’t “be stripped of all his humanity.”

However, in rebuttal of the charge, Assistant US Attorney Jeannice Appenteng said the evidence was clear that Kelly sexually abused girls and that his co-defendants helped him cover it up.

“What R. Kelly wanted was to have sex with young girls,” Appenteng said.

Appenteng said that when the jury thinks about the case, they have to ask themselves who is at the center of it: Kelly’s victims. She said they were children when Kelly started having sex with them, and the jury should find him guilty.

“The defendants are guilty on every count. Hold them accountable,” Appenteng said.

Jurors heard four weeks of testimony from more than 30 witnesses and saw clips from three sex tapes that prosecutors say show Kelly sexually abusing her 14-year-old goddaughter.

During the trial, four women accused Kelly of sexually abusing them as girls, including the state’s star witness, who testified under the pseudonym “Jane”, and told jurors that Kelly started to abuse her after becoming her godfather when she was only 14 years old. and had sex with her hundreds of times between the ages of 14 and 18.

Jane had denied for years that Kelly abused her, but now says Kelly bullied her and her family and paid them off to keep her abuse a secret. She now says she was the person in the video at the center of Kelly’s 2008 Cook County child pornography trial, and told the jury that Kelly recorded her on other videos shown in court.

McDavid was the only defendant to testify at trial, spending three days in the witness box, repeatedly telling jurors he believed Kelly when he denied sexually abusing girls in the early 2000s, but said that he had begun to doubt Kelly’s innocence after learning new things. during the ongoing federal trial.

Kelly has previously been sentenced to 30 years in prison after being convicted last year of racketeering and sex trafficking in federal court in New York.

Kelly is also still awaiting trial in Cook County in sexual assault and sexual abuse cases involving four women, three of whom were girls at the time of the abuse. He also faces charges of soliciting a minor for prostitution in Minnesota.

Read more about the response to Wednesday’s verdict below.

Comments are closed.