R. Kelly: "Forever Branded a Predator" Advocates + Gov't Officials Weigh In
R. Kelly will be forever branded a predator after today’s verdict, the Acting US Attorney from the Eastern District Jacquelyn M. Kasulis said outside court after the verdict was read.
“Today’s guilty verdict forever brands R. Kelly as a predator, who used his fame and fortune to prey on the young, the vulnerable and the voiceless for his own sexual gratification,”
Kelly is “a predator who used his inner circle to ensnare underage girls and young men and women for decades, in a sordid web of sex abuse, exploitation and humiliation,” Kasulis added.
Kasulis thanked the victims for bravely coming forward and telling their stories.
“To the victims in this case, your voices were heard and justice was finally served,” Kasulis said.
“This conviction would not have been possible without the bravery and resilience of R. Kelly’s victims. I applaud their courage in revealing in open court, the painful, intimate and horrific details of their lives with him,” Kasulis said. “No one deserves what they experienced at his hands or the threats or harassment they faced about telling the truth about what happened to them.”
“We hope that today’s verdict bring some measure of comfort and closure to the victims,” she added.
Advocates say R. Kelly conviction brings justice for victims
Some advocates and organizations are reacting to the conviction of R. Kelly's on charges of racketeering and sex trafficking.
The group #MuteRKelly said it hopes that the verdict helps some of the survivors. The group's goal is to end the financial support of R. Kelly's career and help pave the way for his conviction for sexual abuse against young women.
"We hope this verdict brings some sense of justice to the brave survivors who came forward," #MuteRKelly said on Twitter.
April Reign, a diversity and inclusion advocate, tweeted, "FINALLY. R Kelly found guilty of racketeering, 'of being the ringleader of a decades-long scheme to recruit women and underage girls for sex.'
Attorney for victims says R. Kelly is the "worst" predator she has ever pursued
Attorney Gloria Allred, who represented three of the six victims who testified in the case, said R. Kelly is the "worst" predator she has ever pursued.
"I have been practicing law for 47 years. During this time I have pursued many sexual predators who have committed crimes against women and children. Of all the predators that I have pursued, however, Mr. Kelly is the worst, for many reasons," she told reporters.
“First, he used the power of his celebrity to recruit vulnerable underage girls for the purpose of sexually abusing them. These were not May-October relationships, which is what his defense attorney wanted the jury to believe — these were crimes against children and some adults,” Allred said.
“Second, to use the power of his business enterprise and many of his inner circle employees to assist him and enable him in his plan and his scheme to lure his victims to him, isolate them, intimidate them, control them, indoctrinate them, punish them, shame them, and humiliate them. All of which made Mr. Kelly more powerful and more dangerous than many other sexual predators who operate without a network of financial and businesses to support and enable them,” Allred added.
She said another reason was that the government proved Kelly had genital herpes and did not disclose that information to victims or wear contraception to protect them.
"As a result, many of his victims contracted this STD from him and will be forced to suffer from it for the rest of their lives," Allred said.
The fourth reason, Allred said was in many cases "after grooming, isolating, and intimidating his child victims, recorded them being sexually abused and humiliated by them."
“He directed these videos and produced them, not only for his own sexual gratification but, in some instances, for the purpose of using these videos to silence and threaten his victims with public exposure of these tapes if they ever revealed what he had done to them. These tapes were not sex tapes: They were child pornography, which is a crime," she said.
Allred said she was proud of her clients who spoke up and told their truth during the trial.
“R Kelly thought that he could get away with all of this but he didn’t because despite the fact that he thought he could control all of his victims, he was wrong,” Allred said.
“Because of their courage and the outstanding work of federal agents and prosecutors in this case, justice has been done,” Allred added. “Let this be a message to other celebrities who also use their fame to prey on their fans and others who are unfortunate enough to come into contact with them: You’re also likely to face serious consequences for your criminal conduct."