Singer R Kelly was on Monday convicted by a federal court in the United States in a sex trafficking trial after nine women and two men accused him of sexual humiliation and violence, the BBC reported.
A 12-member jury found the 54-year-old guilty of all the charges against him, according to AP. The charges pertained to racketeering, trafficking women from different states and producing child pornography.
Sentencing in the case is scheduled for May 4. The singer faces the possibility of spending decades in prison.
During the trial, several accusers said that they were underage when Kelly subjected them to his “perverse and sadistic whims”.
The singer was convicted of recording himself while sexually abusing and urinating on a 14-year-old girl in 2002.
He was also convicted of forcing a teenage boy to join him for sex with a girl. Further, a video also reportedly shows him smearing feces on the victim’s face, according to AP.
Another testimony focused on Kelly’s relationship with the deceased American singer Aaliyah. Kelly has been accused of sexually abusing her in 1993 when she was a minor. He had allegedly married Aaliyah fearing she was pregnant and obtained a fake identity card to show that she was an adult.
Some accusers, who were adults, also claimed that they were not allowed to eat or go to the bathroom without Kelly’s permission.
Other complaints include Kelly seeking oral sex from one the accusers by using a gun as a tool of intimidation. The singer never disclosed that he had herpes – a sexually transmitted disease – and passed it on to several of his accusers.
The accusers also alleged that they were made to sign non-disclosure forms. If any of its rules were violated, they were subjected to violent punishments and threats.
In a written statement, one woman said that she had been hiding from Kelly because of threats she received since she went public that he had raped and drugged her.
The accusers have often been made to keep quiet by a “pack of enablers” around Kelly, The New York Times reported.
Federal prosecutor Elizabeth Geddes said that Kelly “used his henchmen to lodge threats and exact revenge”. He also blackmailed accusers with embarrassing information or nude photos, the prosecutor added.
The prosecutor observed that Kelly picked his targets from his music concerts or lured them by offering a career in music.
At least two former associates of the singer pleaded guilty in cases related to “silencing” of his accusers, according to BBC.
Kelly’s lawyer Deveraux Cannick said that he had not expected the singer to be found guilty, according to the BBC. He also described the accusers as “groupies” and “stalkers”.
He even told one of the woman who testified that she had made a choice to participate in the exploitation.
Kelly is separately facing trial in Chicago on child pornography and obstruction charges. He will also have to face a trial in Illinois and Minnesota on sex abuse charges.