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R. Kelly found guilty in racketeering, sex trafficking trial

R. Kelly has been found guilty of racketeering. The jury announced its decision on Monday. 

Deliberations first began on Friday at a federal court in Brooklyn, New York before the panel of seven men and five women took the weekend off.

The 54-year-old singer, best known for his 1996 smash hit “I Believe I Can Fly,” had pleaded not guilty to racketeering charges accusing him of sexually abusing women, girls and boys for more than two decades.

PROSECUTOR IN R. KELLY SEX-TRAFFICKING TRIAL URGES JURY TO HOLD SINGER ‘RESPONSIBLE’ FOR SEXUAL ABUSE

The US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York confirmed the conviction on Twitter. “R. Kelly has been convicted by a federal jury in Brooklyn,” the statement read. 

He is also charged with multiple violations of the Mann Act, which makes it illegal to transport anyone across state lines “for any immoral purpose.”

Several witnesses gave explosive testimony in the trial with most of them laying out how Kelly subjected them to perverse and sadistic whims when they were underage. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Kelly “believed the music, the fame and the celebrity meant he could do whatever he wanted,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Nadia Shihata said in federal court in Brooklyn in a fiery rebuttal to the defense’s closing argument that portrayed Kelly as a victim of false accusations.

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Prosecutors say their evidence proves how Kelly, with the help of some loyal members of his entourage, used tactics from “the predator playbook” to sexually exploit his victims.

The tactics included isolating them in hotel rooms or his recording studio, subjecting them to degrading rules like making them call him “Daddy” and shooting video recordings — some seen by the jury at trial — of them having sex with him and others as a means to control them, prosecutors said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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