A woman who accused R Kelly of forcing her to perform oral sex on him when she was just 16 years old rejoiced on Monday after the disgraced R&B singer was convicted in Brooklyn federal court of sex trafficking charges.
The R&B star whose legal name is Robert Kelly was found guilty of all nine counts, including racketeering based on sexual exploitation of children, kidnapping, forced labor, and other charges.
The guilty verdict was handed down on the second day of deliberations by a jury of seven men and five women at Brooklyn federal court on Monday.
R Kelly, 54, faces up to 100 years in prison.
Jerhonda Johnson Pace, 28, celebrated news of the verdict on her Instagram page on Monday. She posted a story on the app showing the caption: ‘Verdict? Guilty.’
She also posted an image to her timeline showing a graphic that read: ‘Today, my voice was heard.’
Jerhonda Johnson Pace (seen above in Chicago in February 2019), 28, celebrated news of the verdict against R Kelly on Monday
She posted a story on the app showing the caption: ‘Verdict? Guilty.’
R. Kelly (seen above in a court sketch from Monday while listening to the verdict at Brooklyn federal court), the disgraced R&B singer, was convicted of sex trafficking charges. He faces decades in prison
‘G U I L T Y,’ she wrote in the caption of the post.
‘Today the jury found R. Kelly guilty. For years, I was trolled for speaking out about the abuse that I suffered at the hands of that predator,’ Pace wrote on Monday.
‘People called me a liar and said I had no proof. Some even said I was speaking out for money.
‘Speaking out about abuse is not easy, especially when your abuser is high-profile.
‘However, I DID IT.’
Pace said her coming forward ‘caused a domino effect and so many people came forward.’
Pace also posted an image to her timeline showing a graphic that read: ‘Today, my voice was heard.’
Pace also posted a photo of Joycelyn Savage, who lived with R. Kelly for years as one of his girlfriends and who publicly came out in support of the disgraced singer even as her family pleaded with her to come home. ‘Still hopeful that she will go back home to her family,’ Pace wrote of Savage on Monday
‘There are still some people that haven’t came forward. I’m so grateful to be a voice for those who didn’t have the courage,’ she wrote.
‘I’m thankful to stand with those who were brave enough to speak up.
‘I’m happy to FINALLY close this chapter of my life. I testified and the jury found him guilty.
‘No matter what you think of me or how you feel about things; today, I MADE HISTORY.
‘I wanna see you be brave.’
Pace also posted a photo of Joycelyn Savage, who lived with R Kelly for years as one of his girlfriends and who publicly came out in support of the disgraced singer even as her family pleaded with her to come home.
‘Still hopeful that she will go back home to her family,’ Pace wrote of Savage on Monday.
‘She may not realize it now, but she also survived R. Kelly.’
Another R Kelly accuser, Kitti Jones, also celebrated a ‘small victory’ on Monday.
Heavily pregnant R Kelly accuser Jerhonda Pace broke down in tears in court on August 19 as she read out a passage from her own 2010 journal, detailing how the R&B star allegedly slapped her, spat in her face and choked her
Jurors in R Kelly’s trial heard testimony from the woman who said the R&B star lured her to his mansion when she was a 16-year-old virgin, made her call him ‘daddy’ and choked her until she passed out on day two of his federal sex abuse trial in New York. R Kelly left and Jerhonda Pace right
Jones is the former Dallas radio DJ who gave up her career to be with R Kelly before the pop singer physically and sexually abused her for two years.
‘We got justice today,’ Jones, who did not take the witness stand, told The Daily Beast.
‘I wouldn’t say I now have closure, because in the end none of us will get our time back. But this is a small victory.’
Jones accused Kelly of physically abusing her and forcing her to have sex with other women.
Kelly has denied the allegations. Jones’ accusations did not factor into the trial.
Nonetheless, Jones said she was pleased with the result.
‘Twelve people who had no connection to any of us and probably didn’t watch or follow our stories individually had an open mind and listened and took our side,’ Jones said.
‘I allowed myself a few hours to get my tears out today – and now I am just celebrating this win.
‘But we have a long way to go, this isn’t over.’
Last month, Pace took the witness stand and testified against Kelly at his trial.
She recalled how he struck up a relationship with her after meeting at his 2008 child pornography trial. Pace was just 14 years of age at the time.
Pace testified that she first met Kelly when she was just 14-years-old when she attended every day of his 2008 child pornography trial, in which he was found not guilty due to lack of sufficient evidence.
When Pace was 16 she said she went to a party and met up with Kelly, claiming she was 19-years-old.
She said Kelly remembered her from court and invited her back to his mansion a few days later where he told her to put on her swimsuit while he sat on a lounge chair and for her to walk back and forth while removing her swimsuit.
She said the two then began kissing and he performed oral sex on her but she ‘felt uncomfortable’ lying about her age, so she told him she was actually 16 and showed him her state ID as proof, and Kelly asked ‘What is that supposed to mean?’ Buzzfeed News reported.
Another R Kelly accuser, Kitti Jones, also celebrated a ‘small victory’ on Monday. Jones is the former Dallas radio DJ who gave up her career to be with R Kelly before the pop singer physically and sexually abused her for two years
Jones (pictured above in Arlington, Texas in 2018) alleges that during her two-year relationship with R Kelly, the singer forced her to have sexual intercourse with other women. Kelly has denied the allegations, which were not factored into the trial
Pace said Kelly told her to keep saying she was 19 and ‘act 21’ and that he ‘was going to train me on how to please him sexually.’
When she told him she was a virgin, she said Kelly responded ‘that’s good’ and told her to lie about her age to other people.
Pace said she continued to see and have sex with Kelly over the next several months and that Kelly would often film their encounters.
He also allegedly made Pace follow a strict set of rules, including making her wear baggy clothes, having her call him ‘Daddy,’ and forbidding her from eating food or using the bathroom without his permission, Buzzfeed reported.
Pace said she was forced to sign a nondisclosure agreement, and a letter full of false admissions that claimed she had stolen money and jewelry from him, which prosecutors allege was a form of blackmail by Kelly.
Pace said she normally abided by Kelly’s rules, but when she didn’t he would be punished.
She testified about an incident when she said she preferred the Cleveland Cavaliers to Kelly’s favorite team, the Chicago Bulls and he allegedly backhanded her across the face and told her she was being disrespectful.
In another instance, Pace said Kelly wanted her to use a sex toy on him while they had sex, and she hesitated, telling him she was ‘taught that was gay,’ and he slapped her in the face, telling her ‘I’m not f**king gay,’ before making her give him oral sex while using the sex toy on him.
What was R Kelly on trial for in New York?
R Kelly stood trial Brooklyn federal court after he was accused of being the ringleader of a sex ring involving women and underage girls and boys.
The charges were first brought in a five-count superseding indictment in Brooklyn federal court in July 2019.
In March 2020, he was slapped with additional charges upgrading the case to a nine-count indictment.
The charges relate to allegations involving six alleged victims – five women named as Jane Does in the indictment and the singer Aaliyah. These charges are:
ONE COUNT OF RACKETEERING – GUILTY
The racketeering charge includes 14 underlying acts including: one act of bribery, three acts of sexual exploitation of a child, one act of kidnapping, three acts of forced labor and six acts of violating the Mann Act.
Racketeering charges are used where there is an ‘enterprise’, mob or mafia running organized crime operations.
In this case, Kelly is accused of running a racketeering ‘enterprise’ for two decades made up of his ‘inner circle’ of managers, bodyguards and other employees who would help him recruit women, girls and boys for him to sexually exploit and traffic them around the US.
To convict Kelly on the racketeering charge, jurors had to find him guilty of at least two of the 14 acts.
EIGHT COUNTS OF VIOLATING THE MANN ACT – GUILTY
The Mann Act is a federal law that makes it illegal to traffic people across state lines for prostitution or illegal sexual activity.
Four of these charges relate to an incident involving Jane Doe #5 in 2015 while the other four involve Jane Doe #6 in separate incidents in May 2017 and February 2018.
Three of these charges involve Kelly allegedly exposing the two women to herpes without informing them.
On the final day she spent in Kelly’s house in 2010, Pace said she was distracted and didn’t immediately acknowledge Kelly’s presence when he entered and Kelly slapped her and choked her until she passed out. ‘
After that he spat in her face and told her to put her head down in shame before making her perform oral sex on him.
Pace said Kelly ejaculated on her face and she wiped Kelly’s spit and semen on a blue T-shirt that was presented in court Wednesday as evidence.
Pace said after that incident she made up an excuse to leave the mansion and never returned.
Jones told Rolling Stone in 2017 that she met Kelly in 2011 at an after-party for a concert in Dallas – and that the two quickly began texting regularly.
About two months later, she claims that Kelly paid for the Dallas-based radio DJ to visit him in Denver. Almost as soon as she arrived, Jones said he immediately started masturbating in front of her.
Later that year she said she began falling for Kelly and left her job to move in with him in Chicago.
But several months later, she says she became suicidal after she endured abuse from the singer.
Jones says Kelly had made references to having ‘raised’ other women, but didn’t tell her that he was in relationships with them – which she alleges that he was.
Nearly as soon as she uprooted her whole life, Jones claims that Kelly started to enforce strict rules similar to those that other women have alleged.
She said he forced her to wear baggy sweatpants and became controlling – making her update him on her whereabouts constantly.
In November of 2011, less than year after the two first met, she said he became abusive.
‘He would start kicking me, telling me I was a stupid b**** [and] don’t ever get in his business,’ she told Rolling Stone.
Soon after that, she recalled that Kelly moved her into his recording studio with two of his other girlfriends. There, she says he went to great lengths to ensure the three women never found out about each other.
‘If you disclose your relationship with him [to another woman] – how long you’ve known him or whatever – you can get beat,’ Jones alleged.
‘He doesn’t want in any way for one girl to feel more like “Oh we’re close than you guys.” Even though we knew deep down we’re all living there, we didn’t address it.’
Jones said he often took away her phone or starved her as a punishment if she didn’t follow his strict orders.
Then, in 2013, things took a turn for the worse.
Jones claims that in March of that year Kelly brought another of his girlfriends over to where he was keeping her and forced her to perform oral sex on Jones.
‘He told me, “I raised her. I’ve trained this b****. This is my pet,”‘ she told Rolling Stone.
Around that time she claims Kelly also started forcing her to have intercourse with other women – and says he would threaten her if she said no.
Jones described that period as ‘six months of hell,’ and said that as it came to an end she found herself contemplating suicide.
‘If I wasn’t getting slapped, I wasn’t eating or my phone was gone,’ she claims.
‘I just said, “I’m gonna kill myself and it’s gonna be his fault. I can either kill myself or kill him. What use am I when I walk out of here?”‘
So finally, at her lowest point, she claims she finally left Kelly’s clutches on an afternoon she told him she was taking her son shopping in Dallas.