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5 key moments from the R. Kelly sex abuse trial

/ 07:36 PM September 28, 2021
R Kelly attends Brooklyn's Federal District Court during the start of his trial in New York

Jerhonda Pace, who is pregnant, takes the oath as singer R. Kelly attends Brooklyn’s Federal District Court during the start of his trial in New York, U.S., Aug. 18, 2021 in a courtroom sketch. Image: Reuters/Jane Rosenberg

R. Kelly was convicted by a federal jury on Monday in his sex trafficking trial. Prosecutors described a decades-long scheme in which the R&B singer used his fame to lure women and underage girls into his orbit for sex.

Here are five key moments from the trial:

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  • In her opening statement, Assistant United States Attorney Maria Cruz Melendez labeled Kelly a “predator” who used threats and abuse to control his victims.
  • A victim identified as Stephanie broke down crying as she testified on Aug. 26 about her encounters with Kelly, including once when she said he asked her to perform oral sex on him in a car with onlookers present.
  • A woman identified as Kate testified on Sept. 3 that she reached a $200,000 settlement with R. Kelly after contracting herpes from him in 2001.
  • During closing arguments, Kelly’s defense attorney invoked the legacy of the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., asking the jury to summon what he called the courage to acquit the singer.
  • Kelly, his face shielded by a white mask, hung his head, as the jury’s foreman, after around nine hours of deliberations, read out “guilty” on all nine charges.

JB

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TAGS: Martin Luther King, R. Kelly, sex trafficking, sexual abuse, sexually transmitted disease
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