R. Kelly is sentenced to 30 years in prison
Following a hearing on June 26, 2019, R&B artist R. Kelly departs the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago.
Getty Images/Scott Olson
R&B musician R. Kelly received a 30-year prison term on Wednesday.
Federal Judge Ann Donnelly punished him in New York and spoke extensively before doing so. She once cited a victim impact statement from a witness named Stephanie who said, “No price was too high for someone else to pay for your enjoyment,” according to Kelly.
The judge declared, “Sex is not at issue in this case. It is about domination, cruelty, and violence.
- Kelly’s likeness during the hearing on his punishment on Wednesday in New York.
Author: Elizabeth Williams
Kelly had a sexually abusive background at the hands of his sister and a landlord, which was one of the defense’s allegations that Donnelly recognised. “You are a person who had amazing privileges,” she said, “global renown and celebrity, untold money.”
Kelly chose not to speak to the court directly. His attorney noted a number of ongoing cases, including a second federal trial in Illinois that will start on August 15 and other criminal allegations in Minnesota. The accusations include obstruction of justice and child pornography.
Kelly was convicted of counts including racketeering, bribery, trafficking in sex, and sexual exploitation of a child last year. The government presented evidence to the jury that Kelly was in charge of a criminal plot to enlist and persuade kids, boys, and women into having sex.
The Allegations Against R. Kelly: An Abridged History
Several victims developed a pattern during the protracted trial whereby they would run into Kelly at a concert or in the street, and a friend would give them a phone number to call. They would then become trapped in a system of sexual and psychological torture from there. Kelly coerced his victims into having sex with him for his own pleasure (which he often filmed). He established rigorous guidelines governing where his victims could go and who they could speak to. And he made them pretend that whatever they did was of their own free will in letters or on videotape.
Accusers spoke about how he hurt them
Seven women spoke out about Kelly and the abuse they experienced before the judge delivered Kelly’s sentence. Kelly never once turned to face his accusers.
We will be allowed to live again, said a woman in court who went by the name Angela.
“I am a representative of every woman, boy, kid, and man that you have ever harmed with your abhorrent, mysterious crimes,” she stated. “And with that, I leave you with yourself, Robert Sylvester Kelly.”
Another lady, in court referred to as Jane Doe 2, spoke of experiencing stress and sadness as a result of Kelly’s abuse. When Kelly whispered to his lawyer, she paused in her remarks to get his attention. I apologise,” she stated. I don’t want to disturb him in his thought process,
“So many people love you and they detest us,” a man who identified himself as Charles and the father of a different woman stated in a dejected manner. He observed that Kelly had not shown regret. Kelly was pushed by Charles to repent and seek forgiveness from God.
Kelly’s defense lawyer promises an appeal
Outside the courthouse, Kelly’s attorney Jennifer Bonjean commented, “Obviously he’s distraught.” “Although we were aware that the government was only seeking for 25 years, 30 years in prison would have been equivalent to a life sentence for him. We were ready to fight this appeal and accept the punishment the judge might hand down.”
Victims were heard
U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said following the sentencing hearing that the case signified “the voices of largely Black and brown women and children… were heard and believed, and for [them], justice was finally delivered.”
The multi-platinum singer has been the subject of complaints for many years before the punishment. He was tried for child pornography in his birthplace of Chicago in 2008. Of all charges, he was cleared.
Kelly then carried on with his life as a rockstar, touring the globe and selling out arenas.
The TV documentary Surviving R. Kelly rekindled interest in the claims of sexual abuse against Kelly in 2019 and offered activists who had been campaigning for Kelly’s removal from airwaves and stages a continuous boost.
After the verdict, Jovante Cunningham, an accuser who had appeared in Surviving R. Kelly, stated, “Up until this point in time, I had never genuinely believed that Black and brown girls would be helped by the legal system. He worked on this for 30 years, and that’s what he got.”