R. Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for his widespread scheme to lure children into sex. The 55-year-old singer will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars following his conviction on multiple counts of racketeering as well as psychological and sexual abuse of minors, the New York Times reports.
NEW YORK (AP) — R. Kelly, who used music superstardom to subject young fans to systemic sexual abuse, sentenced to 30 years in prison. pic.twitter.com/dzOfD0eWdt
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) June 29, 2022
- R. Kelly was found guilty on multiple charges in September 2021. That included nine counts of racketeering and other crimes. In his federal trial in New York, it was revealed that the singer would use “enablers and sycophants” to pull in fans and aspiring artists before taking over and controlling their lives.
- R. Kelly’s lawyer was seeking a more lenient sentence. Attorney Jennifer Bonjean claimed that the government’s understanding of an appropriate sentence was erroneous and requested that R. Kelly receive less than 10 years. However, Donnelly sided with prosecutors who requested a term “in excess of 25 years.”
- Judge Ann M. Donnelly was firm in her sentencing. Handing down the 30-year prison sentence, she told R. Kelly that “the public has to be protected from behaviors like this.” While some believe 30 years sound like a long time, they’re within the scope of the charges and Donnelly stands behind her decision. “I would have imposed regardless of the guidelines,” she said. “These crimes were calculated and carefully planned and regularly executed for almost 25 years. You taught them that love is enslavement and violence.”
- Several of R. Kelley’s victims were able to give impact statements prior to the sentencing. One woman, identified as Jane Doe No. 3, had testified that she’d been imprisoned and raped at Kelly’s Illinois home in 2003. After she escaped, she claimed Kelly had people watching and following her for many years. “I was scared for my life,” she said. “I hope and pray to God that we can all heal.” That was just one of the harrowing stories heard in the courtroom.
- R. Kelly has never shown remorse for his crimes. Federal prosecutors wrote in a sentencing letter that Kelly’s refusal to accept responsibility or show remorse for his actions “exhibited a callous disregard” for those he harmed. They believe he was “fueled by narcissism and a belief that his musical talent absolved him of any need to conform his conduct” to the law. The letter added: “He committed these crimes using his fame and stardom as both a shield, which prevented close scrutiny or condemnation of his actions. And a sword, which gave him access to wealth and a network of enablers to facilitate his crimes, and an adoring fan base from which to cull his victims.” He now has plenty of time to come to terms with the reality of his terrible crimes.
BREAKING: R&B singer R. Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for using his superstardom to subject young fans — some just children — to systematic sexual abuse. https://t.co/63L9C6w8xq
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 29, 2022
I fought HARD AF for this story to come out in 2018. Hugs, love and healing to anyone who has been affected or triggered by R. Kelly and his actions, and anyone who has experienced sexual violence. https://t.co/uW2wLXmlA9 pic.twitter.com/QkhNGLFcGD
— J'na Jefferson (@jnajefferson) June 29, 2022