Singer R. Kelly convicted of luring women, underage girls for sex

for Tv47 Digital September 27, 2021, 10:14 PM
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R. Kelly and Aaliyah TV47
The singer with one of his alleged victims the late Aaliyah. Kelly briefly and illegally married the then 15-year-old in 1994. Aaliyah died in a 2001 plane crash. PHOTO/AGENCIES

Like Kelly, many of his accusers were Black, differentiating the case from recent #MeToo convictions of comedian Bill Cosby and movie producer Harvey Weinstein. Cosby's conviction was overturned in June.

Kelly also had black supporters.

One, Sylvia Tumusiime, said in an interview that the verdict left her "angry, upset and seeing that this is white American. White America," after she had attended the entire trial.

"I'm going to try to raise some money for him to try to get this appeal process started," said Tumusiime, from the state of Georgia. "I'm going hard and I'm not giving up. I'm not."

Kelly had been charged with one count of racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits transporting people across state lines for prostitution.

The racketeering charge gave prosecutors leeway to offer evidence that might otherwise be too old to prosecute.

"We hope that today's verdict brings some measure of comfort and closure to the victims," acting U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulis told reporters.

How He Recruited Victims

Prosecutors said Kelly took advantage of his fame and charisma to recruit victims, including some plucked from crowds at his concerts, with the aid of people in his entourage.

Witnesses said some victims had hoped Kelly could jumpstart their careers, only to find he demanded their strict obedience and would punish them if they failed.

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