R Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison
Tech Updates

R Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison

R Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years in prison following the conviction of the multi-platinum R&B singer for abusing his fame and wealth over decades to lure women and underage girls into his job for sex.

The sentence was handed down nine months after Kelly, 55, was convicted of racketeering and sex crimes in a trial that bolstered the charges that haunted the singer of the Grammy-winning hit I Believe I Can Fly for two decades.

U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly in Brooklyn federal court said the evidence reflected Kelly’s “indifference to human suffering” and “pure brutality” toward his victims.

R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years in sex trafficking case | AP News

“This case isn’t about sex. It’s about violence, cruelty, and control,” Donnelly told Kelly.

“You left a trail of broken lives.”

Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, is one of the most prominent people convicted of sexual misconduct during the MeToo movement against such behavior by famous men.

He did not speak at the hearing on Wednesday but has repeatedly denied allegations of sexual abuse.

The conviction came after several accusers, some in tears, told the judge how Kelly promised to guide them and help them achieve stardom, only to subject them to degrading sexual treatment and physical harm.

Many said the abuse led to ongoing mental health problems.

“As a teenager, I didn’t know how to say no to R Kelly when he asked me to do oral sex with him,” said a woman identified as Jane Doe No. 2.

She then paused, looked at Kelly, and asked, “Do you remember?”.

Kelly wore a black face mask and beige prison clothing at his sentencing.

Several prosecutors testified during the five-and-a-half-week trial how Kelly would demand that his victims strictly abide by his rules.

These included needing his permission to go to the bathroom, calling him “Daddy,” and writing “apology letters” claiming to release Kelly of wrongdoing, among others.

The alleged victims included singer Aaliyah, who prosecutors said Kelly fraudulently married at age 15 to cover up past abuse.

Aaliyah died in 2001.

He was convicted of nine criminal charges, including one count of racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits the transportation of people across state lines for prostitution.

Prosecutors had pushed for more than 25 years in prison, saying Kelly had shown his victims “regardless” and showed no remorse.

Defense attorneys said Kelly earned no more than 10 years, the mandatory minimum, arguing that his history as an abused child may have led to his adult “hypersexuality” and that he no longer posed a threat.

“This court must distinguish between rude and bad behavior and what constitutes criminal behavior,” Kelly’s attorney Jennifer Bonjean said before sentencing.

Kelly has been in prison since July 2019.

He will likely soon be transported to a Chicago prison, where he will face federal court in August for child pornography and obstruction.

He also faces several state charges in Illinois and Minnesota.