After a highly publicized, six-week-long trial, R. Kelly has been found guilty on eight counts of sex trafficking and one count of racketeering.
Jurors deliberated for nine hours, ultimately convicting Kelly for violating the Mann Act, a sex trafficking law. The R&B singer faces anywhere from 10 years to life in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for May 4, 2022.
"Today's guilty verdict forever brands R. Kelly as a predator, who used his fame and fortune to prey on the young, the vulnerable, and the voiceless for his own sexual gratification," said Jacquelyn Kasulis, the United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
By now, Kelly's misconduct is well-publicized, having been the subject of two-part documentary Surviving R. Kelly, released in 2019. Back in 2008, the artist was acquitted on 14 counts in a child pornography case after the alleged victim declined to testify.
Stretching back even further, Kelly famously married Aaliyah in 1994, when she was only 15-years-old. And in 1996, a woman named Tiffany Hawkins alleged that the abusive artist began having sex with her when she was also 15, causing her "personal injuries and severe emotional harm."
Despite the long history of allegations against Kelly, Drake credited the singer as a composer and lyricist on Certified Lover Boy — a move that allows the disgraced artist to earn royalties from his inclusion in the album.
In 2013, Lady Gaga even collaborated with Kelly on a track chillingly titled "Do What U Want (With My Body)." (She later apologized for working with him.)
Though some will inevitably defend Kelly, his conviction serves a measure of justice for the women he abused. And, closely following the dissolution of Time's Up, Kelly's verdict is a reminder that the MeToo movement is anything but a fleeting cultural moment.
Gloria Allred, the lawyer for some of Kelly's accusers, summed things up nicely: "Mr. Kelly is the worst," she said.