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Thursday, February 9, 2023

New evidence convicts R. Kelly of child sexual misconduct

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In the second federal trial looking into sexual assault claims against him, a Chicago jury on Wednesday found R. Kelly guilty of several child pornography and child sex abuse crimes. This was reported by the Associated Press. A Brooklyn judge sentenced the 55-year-old former R&B singer to 30 years in jail in June.

The court hearings in Chicago, in which two of his accomplices were also defendants, came after Kelly’s federal trial in New York last year when he was charged with racketeering and sex trafficking following over 30 years of abuse claims made by women and juveniles.

Additionally, Kelly and his two friends were charged by Chicago prosecutors with planning to purchase back sex videos in order to cover up Kelly’s alleged misbehavior. Lisa Van Allen, 42, a former flame of Kelly’s, claimed that McDavid informed her in 2007 that she ought to have been murdered rather than compensated for returning a film from the 1990s showing Kelly engaging in sexual behavior with Van Allen and his underage goddaughter.

According to the AP, Kelly was found guilty on six of the 13 counts against him on Wednesday: three for forcing minors to engage in sexual behavior and three for making recordings depicting child sex abuse. He was found not guilty on the remaining enticement and pornography counts and was cleared of conspiring to hinder a federal investigation. Derrel McDavid and Milton “June” Brown, Kelly’s co-defendants, were exonerated of all allegations.

John Lausch, the US attorney, also voiced conflicted emotions. Despite being “disappointed” by the not-guilty verdicts on the remaining counts, he added that federal prosecutors were “pleased with the fact that Robert Kelly is now being held responsible” for his “reprehensible conduct.”

Prosecutors contended that Kelly, McDavid, and Brown plotted to bribe witnesses years ago so they would not help with the investigation in this year’s Chicago trial. The 37-year-old claimed victim from the footage testified for hours during the trial, going by the name “Jane.” Jane testified that she was the person shown with Kelly in the tape, contradicting the account she and her family had had until more recently.

Kelly may spend 10 to 20 years in jail for each count of child pornography and up to 10 years for each enticement offense, according to Lausch.

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