A federal jury has found singer R. Kelly guilty of racketeering regarding allegations of sex crimes against underage victims, according to reports.
The jury handed down its verdict after hours of deliberations and weeks of trial. R. Kelly will be sentenced at a later date and faces lengthy prison time.
The verdict caps a fall from grace for the R&B icon. He was once known for his hits “I Believe I Can Fly” and “Ignition (Remix),” but will now be known by his prisoner number.
The singer had been on trial in a Brooklyn federal court for the last week on allegations of abuse, sex and even marriage to underage victims.
Throughout the trial, victims testified about how they had sex with R. Kelly. Some of the victims said they were underage when they started having sex with the singer.
During closing arguments, R. Kelly’s defense lawyer Deveraux Cannick compared him to Martin Luther King Jr. and others, according to Buzzfeed News. The lawyer also said Kelly just preferred younger women.
“Older man, somewhat younger women ... some people just like it that way,” Cannick said, according to Buzzfeed.
Meanwhile, prosecutors said the singer used his music brand to have others recruit young boys, girls and women for his desire.
"Over the past several weeks, you've learned that the defendant's inner circle worked together to promote the defendant's music and brand, but his inner circle also served as enablers for his criminal conduct," U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Geddes said, according to CNN.
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