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R. Kelly Convicted on Child Porn Charges for Filming Himself Sexually Abusing 14-Year-Old

R. Kelly was found guilty on child pornography charges for making now-infamous videotapes decades ago of himself sexually abusing his then-14-year-old goddaughter.

By September 14, 2022No Comments

Today, R. Kelly was convicted of multiple child pornography charges at a Chicago federal trial and acquitted on other charges, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The child pornography charges of the multiplatinum R&B artist are for making now-infamous videotapes decades ago of himself sexually abusing his then-14-year-old goddaughter. He was acquitted of the charges that he conspired to obstruct justice in his 2002 Cook County case about the same child abuse videotape.

The woman who testified anonymously in the trial that Kelly sexually abused her and recorded the interactions when she was as young as 14 was one of five minors who prosecutors allege Kelly sexually abused in the late 1990s by making explicit videos with four of them.

Related: R. Kelly Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Sex Trafficking

After about 11 hours of deliberation, the jury found Kelly, 55, guilty of three of the first four counts of the indictment, which charged the singer with the sexual exploitation of “Jane” for the purpose of producing child pornography, reports the Tribune. Those charges carry a minimum of 10 years in prison.

The Tribune reports that Kelly was found guilty on three out of five counts related to enticement of a minor, and Kelly’s co-defendants, Milton “June” Brown and Derrel McDavid, were acquitted on all charges.

Jurors acquitted Kelly and his co-defendants on all counts related to their alleged attempt to cover up incriminating tapes while Kelly was awaiting trial in Cook County, according to the Tribune. The charges alleged a wide-ranging scheme to retrieve the videotapes and pressure Jane to keep quiet about her sexual contact with the singer.

Today’s conviction follows the multiplatinum R&B artist’s sentencing in June of this year after he was found guilty in September 2021 of federal racketeering and sex trafficking charges stemming from his efforts over decades to use his fame to ensnare victims he’d exploit and abuse. Some of the girls he preyed upon were underage.

This is R Kelly’s second conviction in two years

In June, R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the federal racketeering and sex trafficking charges.

AP News reports that through tears and anger, several of Kelly’s accusers told the court, and the singer himself, at his sentencing that he had preyed on them and misled his fans.

Related: R. Kelly Found Guilty of All Charges in Sex Trafficking and Racketeering Trial

Alleged abuse spanned decades, with incidents dating back to the 1990’s.

“Although sex was certainly a weapon that you used, this is not a case about sex. It’s a case about violence, cruelty and control,” U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly told Kelly on at the sentencing.

R. Kelly’s history of violence and abuse

Kelly was first charged with 21 counts of making child sexual exploitation material (CSEM)—commonly and legally known as “child pornography”—in 2002, but the jury concluded they couldn’t prove the girl on tape was a minor and Kelly was found not guilty on all counts.

Then in 2019, Kelly faced an array of federal charges following allegations that he made videos of himself sexually abusing minors, paid minors and their families to lie to investigators about allegations against him, and even exposed multiple women to a sexually transmitted disease without their knowledge.

Prosecutors say Kelly paid thousands of dollars to recover missing sex tapes and paid victims to lie about their abuse.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About R. Kelly’s Sexual Abuse Charges

Kelly denied all allegations of sexual misconduct and pleaded not guilty to all charges, claiming the accusers wanted to take advantage of his fame and money, and were turned against him with the rise of the #MeToo movement.

At his trial in August 2021, Kelly’s defense team relied heavily on a handful of former employees and associates of Kelly’s who attempted to discredit allegations, saying that while Kelly’s behavior was often bizarre and controlling, they didn’t see him first hand abuse his accusers.

Fast Facts

Still, testimonies from dozens of witnesses called by prosecutors painted a stark picture of patterns of abuse.

Many backed up allegations that Kelly used a network of managers, bodyguards, and assistants to systematically recruit victims at his shows, malls, restaurants, and other locations. The accusers testified that they were groomed for unwanted sex and psychological torment—mostly when they were teenagers. Some of Kelly’s former employees confirmed they were paid off to look the other way or enable Kelly’s system of abuse.

Accounts from witnesses included explicit video and audio recordings documenting threats of violence toward his accusers.

Fighting abuse, but consuming it in porn?

In 2019, after the allegations received renewed public interest, R. Kelly reportedly became a trending search on some of the world’s largest free porn sites like Pornhub and XVideos.

The allegations against Kelly are disturbing and horrific. But just as concerning is the surge in demand for pornographic content depicting the very crimes he’s been convicted of committing.

Related: “I Wasn’t in Control of My Body”: How the Porn Industry Cashes In on Nonconsensual Content

Kelly has been convicted of systematically and brutally abusing girls and women—but consider that there’s a very real demand for depictions of those crimes in pornography.

How is it acceptable for society to condemn and fight abuse and exploitation, yet defend an industry that profits from real rape tapes with underage girls like Kelly’s on porn websites?

FTND Resources

The TL;dr is this: Kelly, and many others, have been accused of raping underage girls and often filming the sexual encounters. And while society speaks out against this form of image-based sexual abuse, many in our society also consume abusive content on mainstream porn sites.

Consider how the porn industry profits off of normalizing and fantasizing these very scenarios that are unacceptable, abusive, and criminal.

All it takes is a visit to the homepage of a mainstream porn website to discover dramatized, or sometimes real recorded abuse.

Related: In Order to Fight Child Sex Abuse, We Need to Stop Fetishizing It

It’s one thing for there to be rightful uproar about the abuse allegations against individuals like Kelly, but quite another for porn websites to get a free pass to profit from this content.

If society is going to shine a light on sexual exploitation and hold abusers accountable, it must also acknowledge where it is normalized, glamorized, and hides in plain sight in mainstream porn.

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