R. Kelly

What's Racketeering? How Much Prison Time Does R. Kelly Face? FAQs After Guilty Verdict

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After listening to witnesses and defenses from the R&B singer's lawyer for over the past month, a federal jury found R. Kelly guilty in Brooklyn court Monday.

Here are some of the biggest questions stemming from the lengthy trial, and quick jury decision, that could see Kelly get sentenced to decades in prison.

What was R. Kelly found guilty of, and what was he not found guilty of?

After nine hours of deliberations, the jury found R. Kelly guilty of all nine counts he faced in the trail in Brooklyn federal court, including racketeering — which has 14 underlying acts including kidnapping, forced labor, sex trafficking and bribery. also charged with eight counts of violating the Mann Act

Of 14 possible racketeering acts considered in the trial, the jury found only two “not proven.” Those two allegations involved a woman who said Kelly took advantage of her in 2003 when she was an unsuspecting radio station intern.

R. Kelly was found guilty on all counts against him in federal court on Monday. Erica Byfield has what you need to know about the case.

What is racketeering? Why was Kelly charged with it?

Racketeering generally involves organized crime, in which the group will extort, coerce or otherwise develop some type of scheme (a racket) that allows them collect money, oftentimes repeatedly over a period of time.

In this trial, prosecutors alleged that the entourage of managers and aides who helped R. Kelly meet girls — and keep them obedient and quiet — amounted to a criminal enterprise. Two people have been charged with Kelly in a separate federal case pending in Chicago.

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute, which was passed in 1970 in an effort to fight organized crime, is often used when prosecutors want to go after conduct that may fall outside the statute of limitations, legal expert Michael Bachner told NBC New York.

"In a RICO case, prosecutors can go back 10 years in proving what are called predicate acts ... to prove the conduct," Bachner said, referring to charges that include bribery, counterfeiting, theft, embezzlement, fraud, obstruction of justice, slavery and racketeering. In this case, prosecutors used alleged acts from R. Kelly that fell beyond the statute of limitations to prove some of the charges against him.

"It also carries a very significant jail sentence — 20 years — and I believe Mr. Kelly is going to see every day of that time," Bachner said.

Prosecutors had to prove at least two of the 14 underlying acts related to the racketeering charge.

What is the Mann Act?

The Mann Act is a 1910 law that made it illegal to “transport any woman or girl” across state lines “for any immoral purpose.”

Witnesses said Kelly’s managers, bodyguards and other employees selected victims at concerts and other venues and arranged for them to travel to see Kelly in the New York City area and elsewhere.

Why were jury deliberations so short?

Legal expert Michael Bachner said the jury's fast turnaround for a verdict — just nine hours over two days — is "indicative of the problems defendants have" in certain cases.

"It's not just one person coming forward, it's a multitude of victims coming forward. And it causes the defense to have to try and argue that everybody's a liar. And juries just routinely do not accept that defense," Bachner said. "Harvey Weinstein saw it, other defendants have seen it, and Ghislaine Maxwell is going to be facing the same problem in the (Jeffrey) Epstein case coming up in November."

After R&B star R. Kelly was found guilty of nine federal counts of racketeering and sex trafficking, attorney Gloria Allred, who represented several of Kelly’s victims, spoke out about the heinous nature of his crimes, including knowingly spreading genital herpes and using child pornography to blackmail his victims into compliance.

What did Aaliyah have to do with this trial?

Some of the testimony heard focused on Kelly’s relationship with Aaliyah, as one of the final witnesses described seeing him sexually abusing her around 1993, when Aaliyah was only 13 or 14.

Jurors also heard testimony about a fraudulent marriage scheme hatched to protect Kelly after he feared he had impregnated Aaliyah. Witnesses said they were married in matching jogging suits using a license falsely listing her age as 18; he was 27 at the time.

Aaliyah, whose full name was Aaliyah Dana Haughton, worked with Kelly, who wrote and produced her 1994 debut album, “Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number.” She died in a plane crash in 2001 at age 22.

A jury found R&B star R. Kelly guilty on Monday on all counts of racketeering and sex trafficking.

How many years does Kelly face in prison?

Kelly faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on May 4.

What other charges does Kelly still face?

Kelly also has pleaded not guilty to sex-related charges in Illinois and Minnesota. Trial dates in those cases have yet to be set.

Had Kelly faced related charges in the past?

Kelly had been tried once before, in Chicago in a child pornography case, but was acquitted in 2008.

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