the R. Kelly trial
The trial of R. Kelly is nearing its end, and prosecutors wrapped hours of closing arguments by urging jurors to make the disgraced R&B star "pay for his crimes."
Kelly, who has long faced allegations of sexually abusing underage girls, has been on trial in New York on racketeering and sex trafficking charges. On Thursday, prosecutors ended their closing arguments after more than six hours, BuzzFeed News' Julia Reinstein reports.
"It is time to hold the defendant responsible for the pain he inflicted on each of his victims: Aaliyah, Stephanie, Sonja, Jerhonda, Jane and Faith," assistant U.S. attorney Elizabeth Geddes said, per The New York Times. "It is now time for the defendant to pay for his crimes. Convict him."
Kelly is facing charges stemming from the alleged abuse of six victims, including a racketeering charge that requires prosecutors to demonstrate that the "abuse was part of an organized criminal operation," the Times writes. In her closing argument, Geddes emphasized that Kelly's "enablers" allowed him to allegedly abuse his victims over the course of two decades.
"When someone commits a crime as part of a group, he's more powerful — more dangerous," Geddes said, the Times reports. "Without his inner circle, the defendant could not have carried out the crimes he carried out for as long as he did."
Geddes also told jurors that Kelly "used lies, manipulation, threats and physical abuse to dominate his victims" and that he was able to "hide in plain sight" because of his wealth and fame. The jury has heard testimony from numerous women who accused Kelly of abuse, and well as testimony regarding his illegal marriage to Aaliyah when she was 15. Kelly, who has pleaded not guilty and denied all allegations of sexual abuse, confirmed Wednesday he would not testify. The defense's closing argument is expected to begin on Thursday afternoon.