R. Kelly fate now in jury's hands at sex trafficking trial - Albuquerque Journal

R. Kelly fate now in jury’s hands at sex trafficking trial

NEW YORK — R. Kelly’s fate is now in a jury’s hands after weeks of lurid testimony in his sexual misconduct trial.

The panel of seven men and five women began deliberating racketeering and sex trafficking charges against the R&B superstar Friday afternoon, ending the day without reaching a verdict They are due back in court on Monday to resume their work.

A couple hours into the deliberations, the jurors sent the judge a note asking to review a transcript of testimony and evidence regarding a woman who claimed Kelly sexually assaulted her in 2003 when she was a 21-year-old radio station intern. She testified she was kept locked up in a recording studio for days and drugged before the assault.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys finished their closing arguments this week. The 54-year-old singer is accused of running a Chicago-based criminal enterprise that recruited his accusers for unwanted sex and mental torment.

The witnesses said Kelly subjected them to perverse and sadistic whims when they were underage. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Kelly “believed the music, the fame and the celebrity meant he could do whatever he wanted,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Nadia Shihata said in federal court in Brooklyn in a fiery rebuttal to the defense’s closing argument that portrayed Kelly as a victim of false accusations.

But, she added, “He’s not a genius, he’s a criminal. A predator.” She added that his alleged victims “aren’t groupies or gold diggers. They’re human beings.”

The 54-year-old Kelly, perhaps best known for the 1996 smash hit “I Believe I Can Fly, ” has pleaded not guilty to racketeering charges accusing him of abusing women, girls and boys for more than two decades.

He is also charged with multiple violations of the Mann Act, which makes it illegal to transport anyone across state lines “for any immoral purpose.”

Prosecutors say their evidence proves how Kelly, with the help of some loyal members of his entourage, used tactics from “the predator playbook” to sexually exploit his victims.

The tactics included isolating them in hotel rooms or his recording studio, subjecting them to degrading rules like making them call him “Daddy” and shooting video recordings — some seen by the jury at trial — of them having sex with him and others as a means to control them, prosecutors said.

In his closing, defense attorney Deveraux Cannick told the jury that testimony by several accusers was full of lies, and that “the government let them lie.”

Cannick argued there was no evidence Kelly’s accusers were ever forced to do anything against their will. Instead, Cannick said, Kelly’s girlfriends stuck around because he spoiled them with free air travel, shopping sprees and fancy dinners — treatment that belied the predator label.

“He gave them a lavish lifestyle,” he said. “That’s not what a predator is supposed to do.”


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

Ad Tango

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
Facebook to add two buildings at Los Lunas hub
ABQnews Seeker
Company: Previously estimated $1.2B investment grows ... Company: Previously estimated $1.2B investment grows to $2B
2
Despite crime issue, most ABQ voters feel safe
ABQnews Seeker
The majority of those polled believe ... The majority of those polled believe APD officers doing a good job
3
Affidavit: Gun on film set was not properly checked
ABQnews Seeker
Investigators believe real bullet was fired ... Investigators believe real bullet was fired from revolver
4
Officials unsure why virus cases not decreasing
ABQnews Seeker
Scrase says waning immunity from initial ... Scrase says waning immunity from initial vaccinations may be a factor
5
Ronchetti announces gubernatorial campaign
ABQnews Seeker
Meteorologist vows to support police officers ... Meteorologist vows to support police officers and boost education in NM
6
Member of NM film community arrested on child sex ...
ABQnews Seeker
Christopher Ranney was taken into custody ... Christopher Ranney was taken into custody on Oct. 22 in Santa Fe County
7
Legislative report flags barriers to NM benefits
ABQnews Seeker
Low-income families may not be getting ... Low-income families may not be getting the aid they are entitled to
8
City sets $10K signing bonus for police cadets
ABQnews Seeker
Bonus for operators, emergency dispatchers will ... Bonus for operators, emergency dispatchers will be $1,500
9
More protections for Mexican wolf proposed
ABQnews Seeker
Animal was listed as a federally ... Animal was listed as a federally endangered species in 1976
10
Rio Rancho gets K-9 training boost
Bright Spot
Teen gifts unit a new scent-training ... Teen gifts unit a new scent-training board