What's Next for R. Kelly: Embattled R&B Star Found Guilty of Racketeering

R&B singer R. Kelly could face life in prison following his Monday conviction on racketeering charges.

It will be months before Kelly's sentence is decided, with a sentencing hearing scheduled for May 4 of next year. In the meantime, Kelly is facing additional charges in two other states, though trial dates for those charges have yet to be scheduled.

A New York jury shared their decision to convict the 54-year-old singer during their second day of deliberations following a six-week trial. Kelly was also convicted on eight counts of Mann Act violations.

"R. Kelly has been convicted of racketeering by a federal jury in Brooklyn," The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York (USAO-EDNY) said in a Monday afternoon tweet. A second tweet added, "R. Kelly found guilty on ALL COUNTS."

R. Kelly convicted in New York
R&B singer R. Kelly was convicted on racketeering charges Monday by a New York jury. Above, Kelly is photographed leaving the Leighton Criminal Courts Building following a hearing on June 26, 2019, in Chicago, Illinois. Scott Olson/Getty Images

Jacquelyn M. Kasulis, the Acting U.S. Attorney for the EDNY, said "justice was finally served" in a USAO-EDNY news release issued following the verdict.

"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," Kasulis said.

Kelly's lawyer, Deveraux Cannick, told reporters on Monday he was "disappointed" the charges had been brought against Kelly "given all the inconsistencies."

Racketeering is a charge often connected to organized criminal activity involving multiple people. In Kelly's case, prosecutors alleged when they first brought charges against Kelly in July 2019, he "engaged in a racketeering enterprise that preyed upon women and girls who attended his concerts so that the victims could be available to engage in illegal sexual activity with him at a moment's notice."

The Mann Act charges were brought against Kelly due to allegations "involving the coercion and transportation of women and girls in interstate commerce to engage in illegal sexual activity," according to the USAO-EDNY's initial charges.

The USAO-EDNY said in its Monday news release Kelly had for nearly three decades served as the "leader" of a "criminal enterprise" that also consisted of others within his inner circle, including managers, bodyguards, personal assistants and more.

"As the leader of the Enterprise, Kelly used his fame to recruit women and girls to engage in illegal sexual activity with him," the office said.

The USAO-EDNY added that Kelly will face a "mandatory minimum" of 10 years behind bars and could face life in prison.

Though a jury found Kelly guilty of the charges filed against him in New York, he still faces child pornography charges in Illinois and charges related to prostitution involving a minor in Minnesota. Both of those charges were brought against Kelly in 2019, but those trials have yet to move forward due to delays caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with no trial dates set as of Monday.

Before charges were brought two years ago against Kelly in Illinois, New York and Minnesota, the singer was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008. Years later, a documentary aired by Lifetime in early 2019, Surviving R. Kelly, raised allegations brought by women who said Kelly had for years sexually abused them. The documentary has been credited with resurfacing allegations of Kelly's behavior and treatment of women in the wake of the Me Too era.

Newsweek reached out to Cannick for comment on Kelly's conviction but did not hear back in time for publication.