Most people know R. Kelly from his hit song I Believe I Can Fly, and we are all pretty much aware of all the infamous sexual abuse that the R&B artist committed in the early 1990’s and 2000’s. One of his earliest scandals dates back to December 2000, when the Chicago Sun-Times had written an article about alleged sexual abuse with an underaged girl. The Cook County Police Department had to close this investigation because the victim did not cooperate with the authorities; but today, we get to watch as this victim stands her ground, and faces her abuser in federal court. From his first court case in 2008, he was found guilty of 21 counts of child pornography. Now in 2022, with more research and investigations taking place, Kelly, 55, has just been found guilty on 13 accounts of child pornography, obstructing justice (by paying victims and witnesses to not speal up,) and child inticement. There were around 11 people who testified against him for misconduct, and around 30 people who came to the stand in total.
The first victim whose name was not disclosed, came to the stand almost 30 years after the assault had occurred. Throughout the trial, she was referred to as “Minor 1,” or “Jane Doe,” due to confidentiality reasons. Jane and Kelly first were acquainted with one another when Jane was 12 or 13, when they both showed up at a gospel concert hosted at her church. She met the singer once again in his recording studio in the 90’s. Jane had come with her aunt Stephanie Edwards (Sparkle) that day, and had asked Kelly to be her Godfather. Unfortunately, what seemed to be a visit for celebration, turned out to be one of the most vile and repulsive events that this victim may never forget. She stated that the conversation had turned inappropriate, and following the discussion Kelly groped her. This was not the only occurance of sexual abuse. Jane states that in 1998, the abuse started getting worse; at 15 she was coerced into having sex with him. Jane informed the jury that this had transpired numerous times. On the authority of federal court documents, Kelly had allegdly filmed a video of the two having sexual intercourse. Sooner or later, the footage was found by music critic Jim DeRogatis, and was sent anonymously to news stations and the authorities as evidence of a felony. Jane and her parents were bribed to not testify by Kelly, but one of them had stood up and told the truth in court at Kelly’s 2008 trial.
This was not his only victim. The jury found that more girls had been enticed by Kelly. He engaged in sexual activity with two minors to “celebrate” his sucsess in his music career. The two victims are known as Nia, and Pauline. The jury found Kelly guilty of another act of coercion. The women that were involved are known as Brittany and Tracey; they had accused him of these crimes, and may have possibly testified against him. Kelly was already serving time from a conviction in New York; 30 years for different racketeering accounts. According to abcnew.com, this updated sentence may now range from an additional 10 to 90 years. Kelly’s lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, released to the public that they had won “7 counts of this indictment,” which has shown to be more than the amount of indictments lost. Bonjean has expressed that she intends to appeal the verdict in the future.
Robert is in good spirits despite a mixed verdict. We won seven counts of this indictment (more than we lost) He is grateful for the support and the fight continues.
— Jennifer Bonjean (@jenniferbonjean) September 14, 2022
Today, his current list of convictions are shown as the following: Sexual Exploitation of Children, Sex Trafficking, Racketeering,Violations of the Mann Act, Producing Child Pornography, Four Counts of Child Enticement/Coercion, Transportation of a Minor, and Bribery.
If you are being sexually abused or a loved one is showing signs of sexual abuse or assault, call 1-800-656-4673 to reach the National Sexual Assault Hotline. You can also go to online.rainn.org to chat with a confidential support worker.
By Jada Strong, Freshman at Whitney Young Magnet