Sept. 27 (Reuters) – R. Kelly was convicted on Monday by a federal jury in his sex trafficking trial. Prosecutors described a decades-long program in which the R&B singer used his fame to lure underage women and girls into his orbit for sex.
Here are five key moments in the trial:
-In her opening statement, Assistant United States Attorney Maria Cruz Melendez called Kelly a “predator” who used threats and abuse to control her victims.
-A victim identified as Stephanie collapsed crying when she testified on August 26 about her encounters with Kelly, including once when she said he asked her to give her a blowjob in a car in the presence of spectators.
-A woman identified as Kate testified on September 3 that she reached a $ 200,000 settlement with R. Kelly after contracting herpes with him in 2001.
–During closing arguments, Kelly’s defense attorney invoked the legacy of the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., asking the jury to summon what he called the courage to acquit the singer.
-Kelly, her face obscured by a white mask, bowed her head, as the foreman of the jury, after about nine hours of deliberation, read “guilty” on the nine counts.
Reporting by Tyler Clifford and Luc Cohen in New York; Editing by Noeleen Walder and Howard Goller