A jury of seven men and five women, which came to a decision after beginning its deliberation on Friday, concluded that the artist is the leader of a decades-long effort to recruit women and underage girls for sex. They convicted him of racketeering and eight violations of an anti-sex trafficking law.
Fifty witnesses testified against the singer during the six-week trial. The racketeering and sex trafficking case against him, however, is based on his encounters with six women. Describing in gruesome detail, the survivors said Kelly committed the crimes against them when they were underage.
The “I Believe I Can Fly” singer faced charges for using his managers to help him meet the girls. He was accused of then keeping the girls obedient and quiet while he established his criminal enterprise, the Associated Press reported. The R&B singer now faces the possibility of decades in prison.
While Kelly faced allegations of sexually abusing underage girls and young women for decades, advocates continually spoke up to hold the artist accountable. Some advocates recently used phrases such as #MuteRKelly to pressure the public to boycott his songs.
Kelly will be sentenced on May 4, according to CNN. The singer’s attorney is considering filing an appeal. The 54-year-old musician was previously acquitted of child pornography charges at an Illinois state trial.