It took more than two decades for an unidentified woman (“Jane”) to come forward about the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of who she called her “godfather,” R&B superstar R. Kelly. And now, a jury has convicted Kelly of child pornography charges in Chicago.
Kelly, 55, after a highly debated trial, was found guilty on three counts of child pornography and three counts of enticing a minor. This conviction was for making three videotapes of himself sexually abusing Jane beginning in the late 1990s. The charges Kelly was convicted of carry a minimum of 10 years in prison.
Kelly was also acquitted of a conspiracy to obstruct justice charge accusing him fixing his state child pornography trial in 2008.
The jury of seven women and five men also acquitted Kelly and his two former associates, Derrel McDavid and Milton “June” Brown, of conspiring to receive the footage that was shown in court. Jurors apparently determined that while the videos they saw were authentic, they could not say beyond a reasonable doubt that Kelly’s team schemed to get them back or even knowingly obtained them.
“The evidence in this case revealed reprehensible conduct,” said John Lausch, U.S. Attorney of Northern District of Illinois. “I want to thank the victims. I want to thank the survivors, the people who survived Robert Kelly and his years of abuse at his hands. Their courage to come into this courtroom and to stand before the jury and reveal the things that man did to them, it’s remarkable.”
Lausch told reporters Wednesday that Kelly could face anywhere up to 90 years behind bars, and that prosecutors will request that his sentence be served consecutive to the years he’s already received for racketeering conspiracy in a New York federal case.
The “I Believe I Can Fly” singer is currently serving a 30-year sentence in New York after he was convicted in 2021 of sexually abusing young fans.
“When we have instances where defendants are convicted of committing horrific acts against other individuals, and it’s separate and apart from other horrific acts that he committed against other individuals, we’re asking for that (sentence) to be consecutive,” Lausch said.
During the trial, spread across five weeks, jurors heard from several of Kelly’s alleged victims who all testified that they were underage when Kelly began sexually abusing them.
“Jane”, who’s now 37, first met Kelly in the 1990s at his recording studio with her aunt when she was a junior in high school. She allegedly told her parents that Kelly was going to become her godfather. She also testified that he exerted an intense psychological grip on her that caused her to isolate herself from her parents and keep the relationship secret to remain “loyal” to him.
Kelly was accused of paying off both “Jane” and her parents — one of whom testified in the 2008 trial.
Bad news seems like it continues to follow R. Kelly in the form of