Former R&B star R Kelly faces sentence for sex trafficking

When a jury found R&B superstar R Kelly guilty on all counts of sex trafficking, it was seen as a landmark moment in the #MeToo movement.

Now Kelly’s sentence has arrived, and the singer will appear tomorrow before a court in New York.

Here’s what you need to know to get up to speed on the case.

Who is R Kelly?

R Kelly (whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly) is considered one of the most influential R&B artists of his generation, having sold more than 70 million records worldwide.

He is best known for the 1996 hit I Believe I Can Fly, which won three Grammy Awards and was featured on the soundtrack for the movie Space Jam.

But before that, he had developed a reputation for his take on R&B with songs like Bump & Grind and Sex Me.

He has also written and produced for many artists including Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Aaliyah.

What was he convicted of?

In September 2021, Kelly was found guilty on all counts in his New York sex trafficking trial.

Kelly was facing one count of racketeering, essentially running a criminal enterprise, and eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which makes it illegal to bring people across state lines for the purpose of prostitution.

Prosecutors said Kelly took advantage of his fame and charisma to recruit victims, including some drawn from the crowd at his concerts, with the help of people close to him.

An artist’s sketch of R Kelly’s courtroom at trial.(AP: Elizabeth Williams)

At the time, Acting United States Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulis said the guilty verdict “forever marks 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.” “.

Several accusers testified in detail during the trial, alleging that Kelly subjected them to perverse and sadistic whims when they were minors.

Witnesses said some victims hoped Kelly could boost their careers, only to find that she demanded their strict obedience and would punish them if they failed.

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