Today (Sept. 27), it’s been announced that the jury overseeing R. Kelly’s trial have reached a decision. The embattled singer was found guilty of all charges related to racketeering and sex trafficking. The verdict follows six weeks of testimony from R. Kelly’s accusers, as well as former employees that have worked under him. As previously reported by REVOLT, the jury, consisting of seven men and five women, heard from dozens of witnesses for a little more than three weeks.
Kelly — who’s full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly — was arrested by U.S. Homeland Security and the NYPD in Chicago back in July of 2019, months after being hit with 10 charges related to aggravated criminal sexual abuse. A day after said arrest, the number of charges then increased to 18, and included child sexual exploitation, child pornography production, kidnapping, forced labor, racketeering, and obstruction of justice. Additional filings in Chicago and New York raised that number again to 22 in February and March of last year.
For many, the jury’s decision helps to add closure to a saga that has lasted for decades, beginning with R. Kelly’s relationship with the late singer Aaliyah. In January of 2019, Dream Hampton teamed up with Joel Karsberg, Jesse Daniels, and Tamra Simmons to executive produce the Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” which detailed Kelly’s past sexual abuse allegations and saw appearances from artists like Chance The Rapper, John Legend, and Stephanie “Sparkle” Edwards throughout. Since that series premiered, several of Kelly’s former collaborators condemned him in response — RCA Records subsequently dissolved their working relationship with him. Kelly later sat down with Gayle King for a “CBS This Morning” interview, where he vehemently and emotionally denied all of the allegations and charges made against him.
Check out some Twitter reactions to R. Kelly’s guilty verdict below.