R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison after being found guilty of decades-long sexual abuse of women, boys, and girls.
A federal jury in New York found the 55-year-old disgraced 90s singer guilty in September last year.
Judge Ann Donnelly handed down Kelly’s sentence today, telling him that he had used his “minions” to “lure young followers into your orbit” and vowing to “never forget” some of the victim testimonies.
In order to “protect the public,” federal prosecutors had demanded that he serve more than 25 years in prison; however, his defense claimed that he only needs to serve 10 years or less because he is “not now a risk.”
The Mann Act, which prohibits sex trafficking, was also found to be broken by Kelly.
The Ignition hitmaker was convicted on all nine counts after a six-week trial in Brooklyn, New York, despite his denials of all charges.
Before his imprisonment, Kelly met face-to-face with numerous victims who described his “deplorable and unexplainable” abuse, earning the moniker “the pied piper of R&B.”
Seven women named Jane Do speak in court about their experiences as victims, describing Kelly’s “God-like worldview” and how his “fame and power” seduced his victims.
An individual who went by the nickname Angela called herself the pied piper of R&B in terms of music and strategy.
“Success and love… These brilliant diamonds were displayed as though they were made of gold.
“You became more vicious and arrogant with each new victim, losing any glimmer of compassion or self-awareness, which eventually gave rise to your God-like complex.
You were behaving dishonorably and shouldn’t have aided or abetted such conduct.
Kelly looked straight ahead as the heartfelt statements were read aloud.
Jane Doe number two briefly interrupted her testimony at one point to explain that she “did not want to interrupt (Kelly’s) chat” while the singer seemed to consult with his attorney.
She accused him, “You are an abuser, you are sleazy, you are nasty.
The hardest thing a court has to do, Judge Donnelly said in her remarks at Kelly’s sentencing, “probably sentences another human being.”
She remarked, “It’s fair to say, Mr. Kelly, that you were a guy with some enormous advantage; you had worldwide recognition and celebrity, untold money.
You have a network of people you utilize to entice young admirers into your orbit by using your status and celebrity.
“Having your henchmen troll for kids at the mall… distributing your phone number to meet R Kelly.
“You thought of yourself as a genius who can accomplish “anything I desire because of what I contribute to the world.”
Maria Cruz Melendez, an assistant US attorney, made startling charges that Kelly would have his victims ask his permission before doing anything, even using the restroom.
Then, according to reports, he threatened to release the self-incriminating letters they had been compelled to write if they fled.
The singer is alleged to have controlled his victims “physically, sexually, and psychologically” by insisting that they refer to him as “Daddy” while recording their sex acts.
Nicole Blank Becker, Kelly’s attorney, argued that the government’s case had “gaps” and that his accusers were simply ex-fans who were angry that their relationships didn’t work out.
R. Kelly has been jailed without bail since 2019.
He’s still facing child pornography and obstruction of justice charges in Chicago, where a trial is scheduled to begin on Aug. 15.
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