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R. Kelly found guilty on all counts in sex trafficking trial, faces life in prison for sexually abusing boys, girls, and women for decades

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Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

R&B musician R. Kelly — real name Robert Sylvester Kelly — was found guilty of sexually abusing women, boys, and girls for several decades.

He faces 10 years to life in prison in connection with the charges.

What are the details?

The 54-year-old Kelly was convicted on all nine counts, including racketeering and 14 underlying acts that included sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping, bribery, and sex trafficking charges, and also faced eight additional violations of the Mann Act, a sex trafficking law that prohibits transport of "any woman or girl" across state lines for nefarious purposes.

A New York federal jury of seven men and five women reached the unanimous verdict after two days of deliberations as the monthlong trial concluded.

"This case is not about a celebrity who likes to party a lot," Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Cruz Melendez said during her opening statement in August. "This case is about a predator."

Kelly is set to be sentenced on May 4.

The verdict comes 13 years after an Illinois jury acquitted him of child pornography charges.

What else?

According to CNN, at least 50 prosecution and defense witnesses took the stand during the trial, including several "Jane Does."

There were 45 prosecution witnesses, and "Jane Doe 1" was late R&B star Aaliyah Dana Haughton — known professionally as Aaliyah — who died in 2001.

"Jurors heard from multiple witnesses who were present at [Haughton's] marriage to Kelly on August 31, 1994, when he was 27 and she was 15," the outlet reported. "Prosecutors showed copies of the couple's marriage license application, which listed Aaliyah's age as 18 at the time of their wedding, as well as their marriage license and marriage certification."

Kelly's former manager testified and admitted that he bribed a worker at a Chicago-area welfare office to create a fraudulent ID for the late singer.

Kelly was said to have married Aaliyah because he falsely believed he impregnated her.

Another witness said that she met Kelly when she was just 17 years old, and noted that he willingly invited her to his studio despite being fully aware of her underage status.

The witness added that he sexually abused her following that time and reportedly recorded the two having sex.

He was also accused of entrapping a woman in a room at his studio where she was kept for several days and only let out to occasionally use the bathroom and shower. She believed that Kelly visited the room and sexually assaulted her during periods of unconsciousness.

A response

Kelly's attorney, Deveraux Cannick, said that his client was surprised by the verdict, and that the government "cherry-picked" damning evidence.

"You didn't get to see what we saw in terms of the discovery. You didn't get to see all the inconsistencies," Cannick insisted. "We said in our summation that the government cherry-picked their version that they thought would support the continuation of the narrative."

Cannick added, "Why would he expect this verdict given all the inconsistencies that we saw?"

In a statement, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District Jacquelyn M. Kasulis said, "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."

Noting that 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 that justice had finally been served.

"To the victims in this case, your voices were heard and justice was finally served," Kasulis continued. "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. 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.

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