R Kelly Trial and Verdict

Kooper Sutherland, Author

Singer R. Kelly has been found guilty of using his superstar status to sexually abuse women and children over the course of two decades. The singer, most famous for the hit song “I Believe I Can Fly,” has even trafficked women between different US states. During the infamous trial, prosecutors detailed how his managers, security guards, and other entourage members worked to assist him in his illegal acts. In addition, the court heard how Kelly had illegally obtained paperwork to marry Aaliyah when she was 15, seven years before she passed away as a result of a deadly plane crash.

Many of the allegations heard in the trial were first laid out in the 2019 documentary “Surviving R Kelly.” Victims were occasionally pin-pointed from his concert audiences, or were enticed to join him after being offered help with their music careers after rare encounters with the singer. But after joining his cause, they found that they were subjected to strict rules and aggressively punished if they violated what his team has dubbed “Rob’s rules.” 

One woman testified that Kelly imprisoned, drugged, and raped her. The woman stated this in a written statement after the verdict that she had been hiding from Kelly due to threats made against her. “I’m ready to start living my life free from fear and to start the healing process,” added the woman, identified in court as Sonja. Lizette Martinez, another victim brought to court, said she was relieved by the verdict. “I’m so proud of the women who were able to speak their truths,” she added. Documents have proved the mental torment that Kelly subjected his victims to. They were not allowed to eat or use the bathroom without his permission. In addition, he controlled what clothes they wore and made them call him “Daddy”.