R. Kelly Has Been Found Guilty of Racketeering

Former R&B singer and producer R. Kelly has been found guilty of racketeering in a Brooklyn, NY federal courtroom on Monday, according to People.

Prosecutors announced that a verdict has been reached for his trial which began on Aug. 18 and included 50 witnesses. According to CNN, the jury deliberation began Friday, Sept. 24 after Assistant US Attorney Elizabeth Geddes delivered her closing statement, saying that Kelly headed a music-promotion enterprise that recruited people to "target, groom, and exploit girls, boys, and women."

"Over the past several weeks, you've learned that the defendant's inner circle worked together to promote the defendant's music and brand, but his inner circle also served as enablers for his criminal conduct," Geddes said.

Kelly was charged with one count of racketeering and 14 underlying acts, including sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping, bribery, and sex trafficking, as well as eight counts of violations of sex trafficking law, the Mann Act. According to FindLaw, a legal resource online, racketeering is a Class B felony which carries sentences of up to 25 years in prison and a fine of either $5,000 or double the amount of the defendant's gain from the crime.

Though he has been in custody since 2019, Kelly has maintained his innocence throughout his legal troubles, which have included child endangerment charges in 2008 (of which he was acquitted) and state and federal charges he currently faces in Illinois.

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