R. Kelly victim: 'I want remorse from him'

Los Angeles (AFP) –


A young victim of sexual predator R. Kelly said Friday his conviction in a US court had freed her from the burden she was carrying.

Faith Rodgers told reporters she was now able to get on with her life, with her abuser facing the possibility of dying in jail for decades of sexual abuse of women and children.

"I no longer have to explain myself," 24-year-old Rodgers said.

"There's no black and white" since the conviction. "So it lifts the weight off my chest."

Kelly, 54, was found guilty in September of nine criminal counts, including the most serious of racketeering, following six weeks of disturbing testimony.

A jury heard how for decades he had recruited women and teenagers for sex, before grooming and brutally abusing them.

"I got nothing to say to him. There is nothing I want to see (from him)," Rodgers said of her expectations for Kelly's May 4 sentencing.

"The apology is the conviction."

Rodgers met Kelly in 2018. She says he initiated "non-consensual, painful and abusive sex" and infected her with sexually transmitted diseases.

The case against Kelly, which was delayed for more than a year by the pandemic, is something of a milestone for the #MeToo movement because it was the first in which the majority of complainants were Black women.

Rodgers, who was speaking in Los Angeles, said Kelly's six-week trial in New York had been difficult.

"There's like a lot of arrogance... the whole time in the courtroom.

"I knew he was trying to goad me and... shake (me) up a little bit.

"That behavior was very, I would say, childish and not appropriate."

Perhaps, she suggested, the sentencing would be the right time for Kelly to show contrition.

"What I would like to see at that time is a little bit of remorse and accountability," she said.