R. Kelly risks further jail time: ex-pop star must answer for sex crimes

child porn and others
Jury finds R. Kelly guilty on six counts

There have been rumors for decades that R. Kelly would abuse underage girls. The R&B superstar can avoid criminal consequences for a long time. But eventually the past catches up with him. He now faces another long prison term.

Former pop star R. Kelly has been convicted of sex crimes again. A jury in Chicago on Wednesday found the 55-year-old guilty of sex with a minor and producing child pornography, US media reported unanimously on Wednesday.

Just a few weeks ago, the New York “I believe I can fly” singer was sentenced to 30 years in prison for abusing minors. In a second Chicago trial, he was charged with 13 counts, including multiple counts of producing child pornography and inciting the sexual activity of minors. According to the New York Times, the 12 jurors acquitted him on seven counts, including charges of obstruction of justice.

The verdict will be announced at a later date, Kelly still faces several decades in prison. Kelly had always denied the allegations. He has been in prison since the summer of 2019. Two other accused ex-employees of Kelly’s were acquitted.

Since #MeToo, the pressure to clarify has increased

In Chicago, there was also a 2002 video that has been known for years in which Kelly allegedly abused a 14-year-old girl and urinated on her. In this case, the musician was already acquitted by a jury in 2008. Prosecutors accused him of pressuring the victim not to testify at the trial. In the retrial, the now adult woman had confirmed that she was the person in the video.

The lawsuit — after cases like those of film producer Harvey Weinstein and comedian Bill Cosby — is another much-noted legal work-up in the MeToo era. The first accusations against the musician, born Robert Sylvester Kelly in Chicago in 1967, were leveled about 25 years ago. But the music colossus seemed untouchable on his pop throne and remained at large for a long time. With over 50 million albums sold, several Grammys and other accolades, he was one of the most successful musicians of the late 20th century. But at the latest when the sensational documentary “Surviving R. Kelly” summed up the allegations in 2019, the singer grew increasingly lonely. Stars distanced themselves from him, as did radio stations, streaming services, and then his music label RCA, which is owned by Sony Music.

(This article was first published on Thursday, September 15, 2022.)

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