A federal jury has found singer R. Kelly guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking involving interactions with six women, among them the late singer Aaliyah, who died in a plane crash in 2001.
The verdict came in Monday afternoon after two days of deliberations following a six-week trial in Brooklyn federal court. Kelly's face was concealed by a mask as the verdict was read, making it difficult to see what reaction he may have had.
Kelly, 54, whose birth name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, had pleaded not guilty to all charges and told a Brooklyn judge that he would not testify. He now faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment and up to life in prison.
Kelly previously avoided prison in 2008 when he was acquitted on 14 counts in a highly publicized child pornography case. However, this time around, the jury believed Kelly was the ringleader of a criminal enterprise that bolstered his music, his image and his sexual gratification by recruiting women and girls for sex, holding them against their will and threatening them if they misbehaved.