R Kelly federal trial heads to jury deliberations

R Kelly federal trial heads to jury deliberations
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The jury headed to deliberations on Friday afternoon in the federal trial in Brooklyn against R. Kelly.

Seven men and five women make up the 12-person jury in the case in which Kelly, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, is facing charges of sexual exploitation of a child, bribery, kidnapping, forced labor, sexual trafficking across state lines, and racketeering involving six victims.

If convicted, he faces a sentence ranging from 10 years to life in prison. Kelly, 54, has pleaded "not guilty" on all counts.

Kelly's defense team, led by attorney Deveraux Cannick, depicted the alleged victims and witnesses as trying to profit from Kelly's fame.

"A lot of people watched Surviving R. Kelly," Cannick said, referring to the 2019 docuseries that detailed sexual abuse allegations against Kelly. "Unfortunately, a lot of people are now surviving off R. Kelly."

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Prosecutors argued Kelly used his fame and power to seduce the alleged victims. Six of the 11 accusers claim they were minors at the time of the sexual relationship. The prosecution called 45 witnesses, including the 11 accusers.

In her rebuttal, Assistant United States Attorney Nadia Shihata said the defense was acting as if it was in a 1950s courtroom, "basically insinuating" the women and girls deserved what happened to them.

"The defendant's victims aren't groupies or gold diggers. They're human beings. They are daughters, sisters. Some of them are now mothers," Shihata said. "And their lives matter."

Kelly never took the stand during his trial, nor did any current or former romantic partners. Instead, the defense relied on friends of the R&B singer.

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After the trial ends, Kelly faces a federal trial in northern Illinois, where he faces child pornography and obstruction charges.

He also faces criminal charges in Cook County, Illinois, where he was indicted by the state attorney in 2019 on sexual abuse charges involving four victims, three of whom were minors. Additionally, he faces charges in Minnesota, where he was charged in August 2019 with two counts of engaging in prostitution with a minor, a girl who was 17 at the time.

Kelly has pleaded not guilty to all charges and denies any wrongdoing.

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Tags: News, Trial Lawyers, Federal Courts, Jury Duty, sex trafficking, Music

Original Author: Misty Severi

Original Location: R Kelly federal trial heads to jury deliberations

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