Fallen R&B star R. Kelly could face the rest of his life in prison if he is convicted on Wednesday of sexually abusing multiple women, young girls and boys.
Kelly, 55, is scheduled to appear in federal court in Brooklyn after being found guilty in September of nine counts, including racketeering and violating the Mann Act, which allows the transportation of women and girls across state lines for “immoral purposes.” prohibits.
The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. and several women, including some who testified at Kelly’s trial last year, are expected to speak in court.
Prosecutors have asked Judge Ann Donnelly for a more than 25-year sentence for the “I Think I Can Fly” singer, whose full name is Robert Kelly – in a sentencing note, Kelly said he relied on his fame and money in order to “both bear and conceal his crimes.”
“He continued his crimes and evaded punishment for nearly 30 years and must now be held accountable,” the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York said in a 31-page opinion.
Prosecutors attempted to portray Kelly during the trial as a predator with a decades-old pattern of abuse who showed no remorse for what he had done.
Indeed, the defendant’s decades-long crimes appear to have been fueled by narcissism and a belief that his musical talents absolved him of any need to conform his behavior – no matter how predatory, harmful, humiliating, or abusive to others – to the fabric of the world to confirm law,” the memo reads.
Jennifer Bonjean, an attorney who has also represented disgraced actor and comedian Bill Cosby, has sought a sentence of less than 14 years.
The defense team tried to portray accusers who testified as despised fans and said Kelly shouldn’t be given more time to abuse a victim, referred to in court as “Jane,” whose parents were pushing for his help with her music career.
“The records show that Jane’s parents instructed Jane to lie to the defendant about her age and then encouraged her to seduce him,” Kelly’s attorneys said in a court transcript.
About 45 witnesses were called during the trial, with tearful testimony from victim Jerhonda Pace, who described a confrontation with an angry Kelly, who she said hit her and forced her to perform oral sex on him.
A witness said he stepped on Kelly while she was having oral sex with singer Aaliyah when she was only 13 or 14 years old.
Witnesses described Kelly’s plan to illegally marry Aaliyah in 1994 when she was just 15 and he was 27. Kelly reportedly feared the girl was pregnant and married her with the idea that it would help him avoid charges of having sex with a minor and forbid her from testifying against him. A former member of Kelly’s entourage testified that he bribed an official to give Aaliyah the wrong idea that she was 18 so the marriage could go ahead.
Aaliyah died in a plane crash in 2001 at the age of 22.
Kelly also faces charges of pornography and disability in Minnesota and federal agencies in Illinois.
The Grammy winner did not testify in his own defense during his New York trial, but broke out in hysteria during a 2019 CBS News interview with Gayle King and denied any wrongdoing. The interview followed the series Surviving R. Kelly, which documented a number of allegations against him.
He may choose to make a statement at his sentencing on Wednesday.
With mail wires