Five key moments from the R. Kelly sex abuse trial


R. Kelly sits with his lawyers Deveraux Cannick, Calvin Scholar and Thomas Farinella as the jury deliberate in Kelly’s sex abuse trial at Brooklyn’s Federal District Court in a courtroom sketch in New York, U.S., September 27, 2021. REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

September 27, 2021

By Tyler Clifford and Luc Cohen

(Reuters) – R. Kelly was convicted by a federal jury on Monday in his sex trafficking trial. Prosecutors described a decades-long scheme in which the R&B singer used his fame to lure women and underage girls into his orbit for sex.

Here are five key moments from the trial:

-In her opening statement, Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Cruz Melendez labeled Kelly a “predator” who used threats and abuse to control his victims.

-A victim identified as Stephanie broke down crying as she testified on Aug. 26 about her encounters with Kelly, including once when she said he asked her to perform oral sex on him in a car with onlookers present.

-A woman identified as Kate testified on Sept. 3 that she reached a $200,000 settlement with R. Kelly after contracting herpes from him in 2001.

-During closing arguments, Kelly’s defense attorney invoked the legacy of the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., asking the jury to summon what he called the courage to acquit the singer.

-Kelly, his face shielded by a white mask, hung his head, as the jury’s foreman, after around nine hours of deliberations, read out “guilty” on all nine charges.

(Reporting by Tyler Clifford and Luc Cohen in New York; Editing by Noeleen Walder and Howard Goller)

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