A Jury in Chicago Has Reached a Verdict in the R. Kelly Trial

CHICAGO — The jury has reached a verdict in the latest trial here against R. Kelly, the former R&B star who was accused of coercing minors into sex, producing child sexual abuse imagery and obstructing an earlier investigation, Joseph Fitzpatrick, a spokesman for the prosecution, said Wednesday.

Mr. Kelly is already serving a 30-year prison sentence. He was convicted last year on racketeering and sex trafficking charges in federal court in Brooklyn, where a jury found him guilty of leading a decades-long scheme to recruit women and underage girls for sex.

The Chicago trial focused in part on charges that Mr. Kelly had obstructed an earlier investigation into his relationship with a teenage girl — an investigation that led to his 2008 trial and acquittal of charges of producing child sexual abuse imagery. That verdict allowed Mr. Kelly to walk free until he was hit with a slew of federal and state charges in 2019 in New York and Illinois.

The key evidence in the 2008 trial was a videotape that state prosecutors said showed the singer sexually abusing and urinating on a 14-year-old girl. The young woman said to be in that video did not testify in the 2008 trial, and told a grand jury years ago that it was not her in the tape. But in this trial, the woman, now 37, testified that it had been her in the video and said that Mr. Kelly sexually abused her hundreds of times when she was underage.

In total, four women testified during the trial that Mr. Kelly sexually abused then when they were under 18; three of them described Mr. Kelly raping them.

As in the Brooklyn case, in which he was convicted of racketeering and sex trafficking charges, Mr. Kelly did not testify. His lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, argued that the accusers and other witnesses for the prosecution were testifying because they sought financial gain or protection from the government against perjury and other charges.

The 12-person jury will also announce verdicts on charges against two former employees of Mr. Kelly’s, who are accused of helping in his effort to cover up his crimes in the lead-up to the first Chicago trial.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/14/arts/music/r-kelly-verdict-chicago.html