American singer R. Kelly has been found guilty on all nine counts in his sex trafficking and racketeering trial in New York. One of the victims revealed she had to ask the predator for permission to eat or use the restroom.
5 heart-wrenching testimonies that led to R. Kelly's conviction
The predator has finally been convicted after a six-week long trial.
A jury of seven men and five women convicted Robert Sylvester Kelly on Monday, September 27 after nearly six weeks of sometimes lurid and graphic testimony.
The five (who used the names Jerhonda, Stephanie, Sonja, Zel and Faith in court) bravely testified about the heinous acts they said they experienced over the past two decades.
Stephanie said she approached Kelly in 1999, when she was 17 years old, and asked if her friend could do an audition for him, according to her court testimony, per The New York Times.
"He said, yeah, that he thought he could arrange that, but also he'd like to get to know me," she said in court. "And also that he likes to cuddle and would I be OK with that?"
Prosecutors said Kelly, who was 32 at the time, had sex with her for between six and eight months, telling her to call him Daddy. He told her not to look at other men and he filmed them during sex.
"That was definitely the hardest time of my life," she testified. "I've never been treated like that before or since... He humiliated me, he degraded me, he scared me. I'll never forget the way he treated me." Stephanie said the musician could be charming and jovial but also controlling and intimidating.
Sonja said she met Kelly in 2003, when she was about 21 years old, according to the New York Times. At the time, she was a radio station intern in Utah and was offered an interview with the singer at his home near Chicago.
According to prosecutors, she was then locked in a room for multiple days, drugged and sexually abused.
Sonja said she had to abide by a "list of rules" while in the house, which included permission to eat or use the restroom.
At one point, an associate of Kelly's brought her Chinese food, but she felt "something coming on" after eating it, she told the court. She got tired and when she woke up, Kelly was "doing up his pants in the corner," she said.
Sonja told jurors "there was some wet stuff in between my legs." She said her underwear had been taken off while she was unconscious. "I was sexually assaulted," she stated in court. "There was something in me that was something I had not invited."
Jerhonda testified that she met Kelly at a party in 2009 when she was 16 years old. Describing herself as a super fan, she lied and told Kelly, who was 42 at the time, that she was 19 years old.
They exchanged numbers and would go on to have sex for about six months, she said in court. After he performed oral sex on her, she told him she was 16 and showed him her ID but he didn't seem to care, she recalled.
She then performed oral sex on him, and he said he would train her. "He then bent me over the sofa and took my virginity," she testified.
Jerhonda, who also said Kelly's rules dictated when she could use the bathroom, read a journal entry in court that was dated January 23, 2010.
"I went to Rob's house and he called me a silly bitch. Rob slapped me three times and said if I lied to him again it's not going to be an open hand next time," she wrote.
"He spit in my face and in my mouth. He choked me during an argument. I had sex with him. I had oral sex with him. Then I became fed up with him and went home and confessed."
As for Zel, she met Kelly in 2015, according to prosecutors. She was a 17-year-old aspiring singer, but told him she was 18.
She got his phone number at a music festival and wanted to audition for him, per her testimony reported by the New York Times.
However, he was more focused on sex than helping her career, and they began having intercourse. Before her senior year of high school, she told him she was actually 17. Zel said Kelly "laughed in my face" before slapping her.
They interacted for five years, during which Kelly physically abused her and infected her with herpes, which "got to the point I couldn't physically even walk," she said at the trial, She said he also urged her to get an abortion after she became pregnant.
Zel testified, "He said, You need to look into that abortion stuff because you need to keep that body." Text messages shown in court revealed that Kelly told Zel she was "hard-headed" and should be appreciative that she had "someone to make the decisions."
Faith's case began most recently of the five accounts. Prosecutors said Kelly approached her in San Antonio in 2017 and gave her his number.
She started traveling to see him and have sex with him, which he sometimes recorded on his iPhone. Faith accused him of giving her herpes as well.
"I was in shock," the 24 year old said while discussing her infection in court. "I really just wanted him to maybe give me answers—or just acknowledge that he did it."
Sentencing has been set for May 4 2022. He faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.
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