SERIAL sexual predator R Kelly was brought to justice after women bravely stood up in court to reveal his vile and violent perversions.
It had taken almost a quarter of a century to finally nail the I Believe I Can Fly singer for his attacks on underage girls.
A jury in New York convicted Kelly of racketeering and eight violations of an anti-sex-trafficking law.
He faces life in prison, when his sentence will be read out on May 4.
The court heard how his victims, some aged as young as 14 when he abused them, were choked and beaten and told to consume their own bodily fluids.
Previously his claims that his accusers were willing groupies and that he’d been the victim of child abuse had seen the 54-year-old musician remain at large for so long.
Kelly, who sold more than 70 million records worldwide, was a powerful public figure who used his wealth to silence young women.
The controlling abuser was said to have confiscated the phones of girls, told them to call him 'Daddy' and punished them for breaking any of his rules.
The Grammy award winning sex offender, whose other hits include Bump & Grind and Sex Me, filmed them having sex so that he had a hold over them and 'trained' them to act a certain way.
Kelly’s crimes were rumoured for decades but it took the relentless pressure of #MeToo activists, campaigning journalists and the testimony of brave victims to bring down the R’n’B idol.
There has been a slow drip-drip of information coming out which revealed Kelly’s twisted nature.
Back in 1998, Tiffany Hawkins sued the singer for abusing her and other underage girls.
Then two years later reporter Jim DeRogatis started publishing articles about Kelly’s crimes and uncovered a video tape which appeared to show him urinating on a 14-year-old girl.
'He slapped and choked me'
That led to a trial in 2008, which ended in his acquittal, because the alleged victim would not take to the witness stand.
This time there were 11 accusers, nine women and two men, who stood up and gave compelling evidence to the jury.
That’s when he slapped me and he choked me until I passed out. When I woke up, I was on the floor.Jerhonda Pace
One of them was Jerhonda Pace, who told the court how she had lost consciousness after Kelly had choked her because she had not followed his cruel demands.
She said that after he saw her texting: “That’s when he slapped me and he choked me until I passed out. When I woke up, I was on the floor.”
She had to obey “Rob’s rules”, which included him deciding what she ate, when she went to the toilet and how she dressed.
Jerhonda was aged just 16 when the perverted musician first preyed on her in 2009.
His defence team’s attempts to portray her as a ‘super-stalker’ failed.
Two women told how Kelly had forced them to use faeces during sexual interactions.
A witness only identified as Jane Doe, who was aged 17 and dreamed of being a performer, told the court that he attacked her with a size 12 shoe.
She said: “He hit me all over. I was running from him and fighting back.”
He hit me all over. I was running from him and fighting backJane Doe
An accuser called Stephanie wept as she recalled how Kelly forced her to perform a sex act on him in a car as others watched.
While a woman identified only as Kate said the singer had agreed to pay her £150,000 in compensation after she contracted herpes from him in 2001.
A clip was released of one of his alleged victims, called Anna, crying as Kelly spanked her and told the then 21-year-old to say "I'm a stupid daddy, I want you to fix me."
The charges against him also included a plot to bribe an official to obtain fake identification for 15-year-old singer Aaliyah so that the pair could get married.
The illegal union was later annulled.
A witness claimed she saw Aaliyah, who died in a plane crash in 2001, being abused in 1993 when she was 13 or 14.
The prosecution case was helped by Kelly’s former employees who were willing to give evidence against this once powerful figure in music.
They told the court that they were ordered to hand out Kelly’s telephone number to young women in places such as McDonalds.
After the trial acting U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulis said: "Today's 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,"
A 2017 social media campaign with the hashtag MuteRKelly and the 2019 docuseries Surviving R. Kelly finally persuaded the music industry to turn its back on the singer.
But his most devoted fans continue to protest his innocence and he is likely to appeal.
Kelly has claimed he was himself the victim of sexual abuse by a female family member, from the age of eight to 14 and by a male family friend when he was ten.
DeRogatis has said: "There was ugliness, there was pain, there was sexual abuse in R. Kelly's upbringing.”
In the Surviving R Kelly documentary the singer talked about being abused as a child and said “I really think it’s a generational curse.”
It is a curse which had then wrought onto innocent strangers.
Hopefully, now that he is in jail it might be broken.