Disgraced R&B star R. Kelly was convicted Wednesday of child pornography for making videos in which he abused his 14-year-old goddaughter.
The verdict followed a month-long trial in Kelly’s hometown of Chicago, where jurors were shown fragments of the disturbing footage and heard testimony from the victim, now 37, who was identified only as “Jane.”
Jurors deliberated for about 11 hours, beginning Tuesday afternoon, before returning with a guilty verdict on six of the 13 counts Kelly had faced, including three child pornography charges. In Chicago, a conviction for only one of these cases carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five to ten years.
It comes on top of a 30-year sentence handed down to the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer in June after he was found guilty of sex trafficking and racketeering in a separate federal case in Brooklyn.
Kelly, 55, was accused of filming himself having sex with underage girls, and of rigging his 2008 trial for child pornography, for which he was acquitted.
Jurors were acquitted of the conspiracy charges on Wednesday, alleging he manipulated his earlier trial. The jury also found him not guilty of three counts of conspiracy to receive child pornography, as well as two further charges.
Co-defendant Derrell McDavid, Kelly’s former chief executive, was also charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice by manipulating the 2008 trial, as well as two charges of receiving child pornography. Another co-defendant, Kelly employee Milton Brown, was charged with conspiracy to receive child pornography. Both were found not guilty on all counts, the outlet said.
Prosecutors said at the trial that the “Ignition” singer was “a sexual predator” who had used his fame to hunt underage girls and videotape the abuse.
“Robert Kelly has abused many girls for years,” US assistant attorney Elizabeth Pozolo told the jurors, using the full name of the fallen star. “He committed terrible crimes against children. … All these years later, the hidden side of Robert Kelly has come out.”
The evidence against Kelly included graphic videos of the Grammy winner abusing his goddaughter, who gave damning testimony.
“That child, who had no previous sexual experiences in her life, was forced to lie on that floor while that man sitting there urinated on her,” Pozolo said in her closing argument. “That humiliating act is captured on that video forever. That abuse will be remembered forever.”
Jane testified that Kelly had sex with her “countless times”, sometimes with other teenage girls he had asked her to recruit.
Kelly’s lawyers portrayed the prosecution witnesses as “perjurers, racketeers and racketeers.”
Defense attorney Jennifer Bonjean specifically called out Kelly’s ex-girlfriend Lisa Van Allen, who testified that she stole a sex tape from the singer — as well as one of his former associates, Charles Freeman, who asked him $1 million for an incriminating sex tape. to give back . Both testified with immunity.
“They came here to tell the government’s version of the truth,” Bonjean said during her closing speech on Tuesday.
With Post wires