Disgraced R&B star R Kelly was today found guilty of sex trafficking and racketeering, convictions the New York Times reports may send him to jail for the rest of his life.
In this federal case in the Eastern District of New York, Kelly faced a total of nine counts — one count of racketeering, with 14 underlying acts that included sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping, bribery, and sex trafficking charges and also faced eight additional counts of violations of the Mann Act, a sex trafficking law.
The jury, made up of seven men and five women, began deliberating on Friday afternoon.
The allegations have been public for decades and so has evidence, but he was acquitted in his first trial 13 years ago after jurors decided they couldn't be sure of the age of the girl he was pissing on in a video. The more comprehensive charges this time were overwhelming, not least because they exposed the complicity of those around him, including public officials, who had their own skin to save.
Kelly's former tour manager, Demetrius Smith, testified reluctantly that he bribed a worker at a welfare office in the Chicago area to create a welfare ID for Aaliyah. "I made her (the welfare office worker) an offer and she took the money," Smith testified. "I gave her $500." While the ID did not list Aaliyah's date of birth, an Illinois official testified on September 15 that, generally, a person has to be at least 18 to obtain that particular type of ID.