KEY POINTS

  • The singer's camp said the trial's witnesses had many "inconsistencies"
  • The singer was accused of manipulating and grooming girls for his sexual gratification
  • R Kelly's sentencing is scheduled for May 2022

R&B singer R. Kelly’s attorney Deveraux L. Cannick on Monday said that his client “did not expect the guilty verdict” and accused the jury of “cherry-picking” evidence during the high-profile trial. 

Moments after R. Kelly was found guilty of nine charges of sex trafficking and racketeering, Cannick said they were not anticipating the jury’s verdict and claimed that there were many “inconsistencies” in his client’s trial. 

“He was not anticipating this verdict because based on the evidence, why should he anticipate this verdict?” Cannick told reporters, according to The New York Times. “The government cherry-picked the version that they thought would be a continuation of the narrative that was first put out by Cheryl Mack and ‘Surviving R. Kelly,’ and they cherry-picked a version and ran with that version.”

“They totally ignore (sic) the inconsistencies that all of these witnesses gave in their debriefing,” he added.

Cannick also hinted that they plan to appeal Kelly’s guilty verdict. However, the lawyer did not specify when they plan to file for an appeal. 

During the five-week trial, which began on Aug. 18, the “I Believe I Can Fly” crooner was accused of using “lies, manipulation, threats and physical abuse” to control his victims. He was also accused of grooming girls and filming their sexual encounters. 

“This case is about a predator who for decades used fame, popularity and a network of associates to groom girls, boys and young women for his own sexual purposes,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Melendez said in her opening statement in August, according to ABC News.

Kelly, who has stayed in prison since he was arrested in July 2019, is now scheduled for sentencing on May 4, 2022. He could spend 10 years to life in prison for the charges. 

"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 Jacquelyn Kasulis, acting US attorney from the Eastern District of New York. 

Kelly is also facing similar sex-related charges in Illinois and Minnesota. It is unclear how the recent guilty verdict in the New York trial would affect the cases in the two states. It is also unclear when the cases might reach a trial, according to USA Today. 

Jury selection has begun in the trial of disgraced RnB star R Kelly, seen here in 2019 Jury selection has begun in the trial of disgraced RnB star R Kelly, seen here in 2019 Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Antonio PEREZ