R. Kelly is breaking his silence after his guilty verdict.
On Monday, a Brooklyn federal jury found the R&B superstar guilty on all counts in his high-profile sex-trafficking case. Kelly was convicted on one count of racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits transporting people across state lines “for any immoral purpose.”
Kelly, who will be sentenced May 4, faces decades in prison. The 54-year-old singer, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, wore a mask and sat motionless as the verdict was read in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn. He did not take the stand during the six-week trial.
Following the guilty verdict, he shared a message with his followers on Facebook, in which he said he was disappointed and proclaimed his innocence.
“To all my fans and supporters I love you all and thank you for all the support,” he wrote in the statement. “Today’s verdict was disappointing and I will continue to prove my innocence and fight for my freedom. #notguilty.”
His attorney, Deveraux Cannick, also spoke outside the courthouse in the wake of the verdict.
“Of course Mr. Kelly is disappointed. He was not anticipating this verdict because, based on the evidence, why should he anticipate this verdict?” said Cannick. “They totally ignored the inconsistencies that all of these witnesses gave.”
Added Cannick, “I don’t know if I’m more disappointed in the jury’s verdict or the government’s actions in this case. I am sure that we are going to appeal.”
Kelly’s conviction is a significant moment in the #MeToo movement for Black women. “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,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn M. Kasulis. “To the victims in this case: Your voices were heard and justice was finally served.”