The federal trial of R. Kelly began Wednesday (August 18) in Brooklyn with opening statements from his defense attorneys and federal prosecutors. The R&B singer faces federal racketeering charges and is accused of heading up a criminal enterprise that recruited women and girls for sex.
Seven men and five women were seated as the jury to hear the case against the singer. Prosecutors are expected to lay out a case that shows Kelly operated a criminal enterprise that engaged in sexual exploitation of children, kidnapping, forced labor, as well as coercing and transporting women and underaged girls to participate in illegal sexual activity.
The 54-year-old was indicted by a federal grand jury in July 2019 and pleaded not guilty to all of the criminal charges and still has pending federal and state prosecutions in Illinois and Minnesota. He pleaded not guilty in those cases too.
The WSJ reports if convicted in New York, Kelly could face 10 years to life in prison.