The disgraced R&B singer R. Kelly has been found guilty of several charges of sex abuse in his hometown of Chicago.
At his second federal trial this year, Kelly was convicted of three counts of child pornography and three counts of child enticement. He was cleared of a fourth pornography charge, as well as of conspiracy to obstruct justice; he stood accused of having fixed his state trial on similar charges in 2008.
He was also cleared on three further enticement charges, and on two counts of conspiracy to receive child pornography. Nevertheless, the guilty verdicts are likely to add years on to Kelly’s prison time, with the former star having been sentenced to 30 years behind bars back in June, on racketeering and sex trafficking charges in a federal trial in New York.
Kelly, 55, is already unlikely to be eligible for parole on that sentence until he was 80; yesterday’s (September 14) verdicts mean that he is even likelier still to spend the rest of his life in prison; the child pornography counts on which he was convicted each carry a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years’ incarceration, with federal inmates required to serve 85% of their sentences.
The Chicago case hinged around the testimony of four accusers, and particularly that of the prosecution’s star witness, pseudonymously known as Jane, who told the court last month that she was the 14-year-old girl depicted in an infamous sex tape with Kelly, then 30, a video that was at the centre of Kelly’s 2008 state trial on child pornography charges.
Jane did not testify at that trial, with some jurors later citing her failure to take the stand as a key reason for having acquitted Kelly. She had previously told a state grand jury in 2002 that she was not the girl in the video, telling the federal court last month that she had been afraid to get Kelly, painted as a master manipulator by prosecutors, into trouble. He still faces two further trials: one in Minnesota, and another at state level in Chicago.