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Singer R. Kelly convicted of sex crimes

A key step in a long legal saga. The fallen American star of R&B, Robert Kelly, was found guilty on Monday, September 27 by a court in New York of a series of sex crimes, including that of having led for years a “System” sexual exploitation of young women, including minors.

He was also found guilty by the Brooklyn Federal Court jury of the crime of “Sex trafficking”.

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During the trial, which began over a month ago, nine women and two men testified that R. Kelly had sexually abused them, describing rape, forced drug-taking, imprisonment or even child pornography.

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The 54-year-old singer, known for his hit “I Believe I Can Fly,” was on trial for extortion, sexual exploitation of a minor, kidnapping, corruption and forced labor, over a period from 1994 to 2018. The artist, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, is accused of having perpetrated these crimes with impunity, taking advantage of his notoriety.

90s R&B star R. Kelly has always denied the facts.

This case is seen as a major moment in the #MeToo movement: it is the first time that the majority of complainants are black women.

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Many of the alleged victims have recounted having met the star at concerts, during which they were given a small piece of paper with the singer’s contact details by his entourage. The influential singer could do something for their musical career, they were promised. Instead, all were made “Indoctrinate” in the dark world of R. Kelly, assure the prosecutors, forced to have sex with the singer and kept in this system by “Coercive measures”.

New witness accuses R. Kelly of sexual abuse while underage

Among the complainants, one said he had forced her to have an abortion, having become pregnant with him as a minor. Four women said he had transmitted herpes to them, without warning them that they had the disease.

“He’s not a genius. He’s a criminal. He’s a predator ”, Deputy Prosecutor Nadia Shihata told jurors.

In a tone sometimes mocking, the defense on the contrary portrayed the victims, some of whom were minors at the time of the facts, as groupies greedy for money.

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His relationship with Aaliyah in question

The lawsuit also explored in detail R. Kelly’s relationship with Aaliyah, whose singer produced the debut album before illegally marrying her when she was just 15 years old. At the stand, her former manager admitted to bribing an official to provide the singer with false papers so that the marriage, which was later invalidated, could take place.

This marriage certificate is part of a large set of exhibits unveiled during the hearings, supposed to incriminate the singer.

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Throughout the trial, the artist remained unmoved. He only appeared to fidget during the long indictment of the indictment, shaking his head several times.

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The verdict of this trial is not the last episode in this legal saga: R. Kelly has also been charged with numerous sexual abuses in Chicago and at the federal level in the states of Illinois and New York.

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