R. Kelly convicted of racketeering conspiracy, all other counts at his federal trial in NY

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CHICAGO — R&B singer R. Kelly was convicted by a federal jury in New York on Monday of racketeering conspiracy and eight other counts alleging he headed a...
criminal enterprise that employed agents, runners, bodyguards and others to lure and trap girls and young women to satisfy his sexually predatory desires.

The guilty verdict on the main racketeering count in the indictment was announced in U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly's courtroom in Brooklyn. The jury, which heard from 50 witnesses over the six-week trial, reached its verdict after deliberating for about nine hours over two days.

In addition to the main count of racketeering, the jury found Kelly guilty on all eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits travel over state lines for illegal sex.

Kelly, one of the biggest music stars Chicago has ever produced, faces anywhere from 10 years to life in prison when he's sentenced on May 4, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn.

Dressed in a navy blue suit and light blue tie, Kelly sat still and started straight ahead as the verdicts were read shortly after 3 p.m. Eastern time. As the jury left the courtroom, Kelly, who was wearing a face mask, stood and clasped his hands in front of him but showed no outward emotion.

After the proceedings were adjourned, Kelly whispered something to one of his lawyers before being led from the courtroom with his hands behind his back by a court security officer.

Outside the courtroom, Kelly's lawyer, Deveraux Cannick, told reporters his team was "disappointed with the verdict" and would be exploring options for appeal.

In a brief news conference in front of the courthouse Monday afternoon, acting U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn M. Kasulis said the jury had "delivered a powerful message to men like R. Kelly" that eventually their crimes will catch up to them.

"Today's verdict forever brands R. Kelly as a predator who used his fame and fortune to prey on the young, the vulnerable and the voiceless for his own sexual gratification," Kasulis said. "A predator who used his inner circle to ensnare underage girls and men and women for decades in a sordid web of sex…
Jason Meisner and Megan Crepeau, Chicago Tribune
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