On Wednesday (September 14), disgraced songwriter and performer R. Kelly was found guilty by a federal jury in Illinois on six counts of sexual exploitation and enticement of a minor.
The Grammy Award-winning, platinum-selling artist, born Robert Sylvester Kelly (55), was convicted of six of the 13 counts brought against him in July 2019.
Now, Kelly faces decades more in prison on top of a 30-year sentence he received earlier this year.
“It had to be the way R. Kelly wanted,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeannice Appenteng said Tuesday during the prosecution’s rebuttal. “And, ladies and gentlemen, what R. Kelly wanted was to have sex with young girls.”
The jury began deliberating around 1 p.m. on Tuesday after four weeks of witness testimony.
Kelly was acquitted of seven other counts: one child pornography count, one count of sexual exploitation of a child, one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, as well as four conspiracy counts.
The decision came 14 years after another jury acquitted Kelly of child pornography charges. Though he was found not guilty of that, federal prosecutors in the 2022 case said Kelly and his former manager conspired to pressure people and lie about the case.
Kelly is already facing a 30-year sentence from convictions on sex trafficking and racketeer charges in New York. He still faces two more pending criminal cases.
Kelly’s two co-defendants—his former business manager Derrel McDavid and former assistant Milton “June” Brown—were both acquitted of charges against them.
Kelly’s sentencing date hasn’t been set.
According to the United States Sentencing Commission, people convicted of federal child pornography charges received an average of 23 years in jail in 2019.
Four of the counts against Kelly harken back to four separate video recordings that, prosecutors say, show the singer engaging in sex acts with “Jane Doe,” the government’s top witness. He was convicted on three of those counts.
Jane did not take the stand at Kelly’s trial in 2008. She did take the stand in 2022, however.
Kelly also did not testify in the most recent case.
Jane said she was introduced to Kelly by her aunt when she was 13. Jane asked Kelly to be her “godfather,” at her aunt’s suggestion when she was 14, even though her parents had already selected godparents for her previously.
Kelly accepted and their relationship quickly turned inappropriate, sexual, Jane said. Including phone sex, and asking about her body and underwear. That moved on to touching, and, later, intercourse.
Jane said she and Kelly engaged in sex “hundreds” of times while she was a minor. They also had threesomes with more underage girls, including a friend of Jane’s from school. Kelly recorded these encounters on a camcorder and kept the tapes close by or at his home.
Jane, according to her testimony, could be heard saying repeatedly that her genitals were “14 years old.”
Said Jane in her testimony, “I considered myself a submissive person and I wanted to give him what he wanted and what he required. He was an authoritative figure over me … I just went with the flow of whatever he said to do.”
In one video, Kelly could be seen giving her money.
“He wanted it to appear that I was a prostitute,” Jane said.
Kelly and McDavid were also charged with obstruction of justice. In 2000, Jane said there was nothing inappropriate about Kelly’s and her relationship.
“I denied it,” Jane said. “I was afraid that something bad would happen to Robert … I wanted to protect him so I did everything I could to keep it a secret.”
She added, “It was instilled in me not to admit that to anybody and that’s exactly what I did.”
Kelly was convicted of more counts, including trying to recover leaked tapes of his inappropriate behavior.
Along with the six new counts on Wednesday, Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison in June following convictions on sex trafficking and racketeering charges.
“R. Kelly used his fame, fortune, and enablers to prey on the young, the vulnerable, and the voiceless for his own sexual gratification, while many turned a blind eye,” Breon Pace, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement after Kelly was sentenced. “Through his actions, Kelly exhibited a callous disregard for the devastation his crimes had on his victims and has shown no remorse for his conduct.”
(Photo by Scott Legato/Getty Images)