Saturday, September 25, 2021

Fate Of Singer R Kelly Now In Hands Of Jury

R Kelly
The jury has retired in R. Kelly's sex trafficking trial in New York, after a month of testimony regarding the star's alleged sexual abuse of men, women and underage girls, reports the BBC.

The 54-year-old is facing one charge of racketeering - which positions him as the head of a criminal enterprise that preyed on young women - and eight counts of trafficking girls and women across state lines for prostitution.

Once one of the world's biggest pop stars, Kelly was initially arrested on these charges in July 2019, but his trial was delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic and scheduling issues with separate cases he faces in other states.

In their closing arguments, prosecutors painted Kelly as a predator who destroyed the lives of people around him.

"He used lies, manipulation, threats and physical abuse to dominate his victims," said assistant US attorney Elizabeth Geddes, adding that his immense wealth and fame allowed him to "hide in plain sight".

Kelly's lawyers sought to attack the credibility of the witnesses who accused him of sexual and physical abuse, saying their stories were manufactured or exaggerated, and casting them as opportunists cashing in on his fame.

"They're monetizing. They know what the game is. They're surviving off of R. Kelly," Deveraux Cannick told the jury.

Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, has pleaded not guilty on all counts but refused the opportunity to testify in his defense.

If convicted, he faces between 10 years in prison and a life sentence.

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