Robert “R.” Kelly, 54, is currently facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and up to life in prison. A federal jury in Brooklyn found the disgraced R&B singer/songwriter guilty of multiple crimes involving underage girls and young women.
The Chicago-raised entertainer was convicted on all nine counts of the indictment. Prosecutors were able to secure guilty verdicts for racketeering, bribery, sexual exploitation of a child, forced labor, and sex trafficking.
As a result of the conviction, the city of Baton Rouge is rescinding its “Key to the City” honor given to R. Kelly in 2013. Former Baton Rouge Metro Council member Denise Marcelle told TMZ she now regrets giving R. Kelly the accolade.
Marcelle, now a Louisiana State Representative, suggested she was not fully aware of the allegations that had been leveled against R. Kelly for decades, including reports that then-27-year-old Kelly married 15-year-old Aaliyah in 1994. Additionally, Kelly went on trial in Illinois for state child pornography charges in 2008, but he was acquitted in that case.
R. Kelly Has A Long History Of Sexual Misconduct & Child Pornography Allegations
Rumors of R. Kelly being the head of a “sex cult” began circulating online over four years ago. The #MuteRKelly movement and Dream Hampton’s 2019 documentary Surviving R. Kelly helped bring widespread attention to the sexual misconduct allegations against the self-described Pied Piper of R&B.
Following the premiere of Surviving R. Kelly, local and federal authorities in several states began investigating the 3-time Grammy winner. Kelly was eventually indicted in the Eastern District of New York and the Northern District of Illinois. The latter case is still pending.
“This indictment demonstrates our office’s commitment to holding individuals such as Kelly accountable for criminal sexual abuse of minors, protecting the victims of such crimes, and punishing those who obstruct law enforcement investigations,” said United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois John R. Lausch Jr. in 2019.
On September 27 of this year, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Jacquelyn M. Kasulis, stated, “Today’s guilty verdict forever brands R. Kelly as a predator, who used his fame and fortune to prey on the young, the vulnerable, and the voiceless for his own sexual gratification. A predator who used his inner circle to ensnare underage teenage girls, and young women and men, for decades, in a sordid web of sex abuse, exploitation, and degradation.”