Jury acquits R. Kelly of all counts
By MICHAEL TARM – 4 hours ago
CHICAGO (AP) — R. Kelly was acquitted of all charges Friday after less than a day of deliberations in his child pornography trial, ending a six-year ordeal for the R&B superstar.
Kelly dabbed his face with a handkerchief and hugged each of his four attorneys after the verdict — not guilty on all 14 counts — was read. The Grammy award-winning singer had faced 15 years in prison if convicted.
Minutes later, surrounded by bodyguards, he left the courthouse without comment. Dozens of fans screamed and cheered as he climbed into a waiting SUV.
"All I heard (from Kelly) while those 14 verdicts were being read was 'Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus,'" said Sam Adam Jr., one of his attorneys.
Prosecutors had argued that a video tape mailed to the Chicago Sun-Times in 2002 showed Kelly engaged in graphic sex acts with a girl as young as 13 at the time. Both Kelly, 41, and the now 23-year-old alleged victim had denied they were the ones on the tape. Neither testified during the trial.
"Robert said all along that he believed in our system and he believed in God — and that when all the facts came out in court, he would be cleared of these terrible charges," according to a statement from his publicist, Allen Mayer. "But he never dreamed it would take six and a half years. This has been a terrible ordeal for him and his family and at this point all he wants to do is move forward and put it behind him."