September 28, 2021 Comments Off on

R. Kelly Is Found Guilty of All Counts and Faces Life in Prison
Sept. 27, 2021

 Mr. Kelly’s conviction marked a stunning fall for a man who was once one of the biggest names in R&B music. It came after the first Me Too-era trial in which most of the victims were Black women. The singer was convicted of federal racketeering and sex trafficking charges for a decades-long scheme to recruit women and underage girls for sex. Once one of the biggest names in popular music, he could face decades in prison. 

The conviction of R. Kelly on all nine counts against him came as a significant moment in the Me Too movement for both Black women and for the music industry, ushering in a sense that, finally, justice had been served. But the verdict on Monday also prompted an obvious question: Women have said that the singer’s abuses began as early as the start of the 1990s —

Why did it take three decades for the singer to receive criminal punishment? Here are a few possible answers: The entertainer had an expansive network of enablers around him, federal prosecutors said, from his closest confidantes and employees to many in the music industry who knew of the concerns about his behavior but did not intervene. 

The government drew attention to what has been described as the “settlement factory” that kept his accusers quiet, offering evidence of Mr. Kelly’s payments to women who made accusations in exchange for their silence.And when that was not enough, Mr. Kelly “used his henchmen to lodge threats and exact revenge,” blackmailing women with nude photographs of themselves or embarrassing information, one prosecutor, Elizabeth Geddes, said in closing arguments. Federal prosecutors also accused Mr. Kelly of paying witnesses to not cooperate with the authorities in the lead-up to his 2008 trial and acquittal. They said the singer let some witnesses know they could be “subject to physical harm” if they proceeded…. https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/09/27/nyregion/r-kelly-trial-news

R. Kelly made his victims write letters exonerating him. Instead, they helped convict him.
Sept. 27, 2021 By Emily Palmer 

Much of the evidence that prosecutors used to convict R. Kelly came from the singer himself.He obsessively collected message slips and letters written by the women he interacted with — some of them underage — according to Ryan Chabot, the lead federal investigator in the case. Mr. Chabot said he sifted through the evidence recovered from several searches of the singer’s Chicago apartment and storage facility.Mr. Kelly kept some of the evidence in FedEx folders, with labels like “Old Messages,” and other pieces — like a seven-page, front-and-back, handwritten letter from a woman who testified for three days early in the trial — in protective sleeves in a locked safe. 

Calling Mr. Kelly a “great man,” the woman wrote: “At the age of 17 I never had sex with Robert Kelly,” then proceeded to tick off a list of specific sex acts that she said she had not participated in with the R&B superstar.

Less than two years later, when the woman who had written the letter testified under a pseudonym, she said she had experienced coerced and recorded sexual encounters with the singer starting when she was 17. He hit her often, she said, and forced her to get an abortion…. https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/09/27/nyregion/r-kelly-trial-news

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