R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for sex trafficking


R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for sex trafficking

R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for sex trafficking during a court hearing in New York on Wednesday before US District Judge Ann Donnelly. He was also sentenced to five years of supervised release and a $100,000 fine.

Prosecutors recommended the Chicago R&B star get at least 25 years in prisonwhile the defense advocated a sentence of 10 years or less.

Kelly, 55, was found guilty last year on racketeering and other charges.

During a press conference after the sentencing, Breon Peace, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, thanked the women for coming, saying they were “heard and believed” and “justice has finally been achieved.”

“R Kelly is a predator and as a result of our indictment he will serve a long prison sentence for his crimes,” he said.

R. Kelly’s accuser Azriel Clary says he “coached” girlfriends before the explosive 2019 interview.


Jennifer Bonjean, an attorney for Kelly, said “he’s obviously devastated” by the conviction, but noted that it “wasn’t much of a surprise.” She added that his team will appeal.

Women’s advocate Gloria Allred called Kelly a “qualified sex offender” and applauded the “brave” women who came forward.

“Together, they were able to combat his power by becoming empowered young women themselves,” she said during a press briefing outside the courthouse on Wednesday.

“It was a long road to justice, but they were all very brave and gave a tremendous amount of time to work together and testify,” she later added.

A woman who identified herself as Lizzette Martinez said she was 17 at the time of her alleged abuse. She is now 45.

“I never thought I would be here to see him held accountable for the cruel things he did to children,” she said. “I don’t know what else to say except that I’m grateful.”

Another woman, posing as Jovante, said she was 14 when she “met” Kelly.

“Up until this moment, there hasn’t been a day in my life that I believed this justice system for black girls and brown girls would pull through,” she said, adding that she was “delighted” and “overwhelmed” by the conviction .

The “I Believe I Can Fly” singer’s wrongdoing came under fresh scrutiny after a 2019 documentary titled “Surviving R. Kelly” aired, in which accusers spoke candidly about their experiences with him. Some claimed they were ordered to sign non-disclosure agreements and faced threats and violence.

During Wednesday’s court hearing, victims took the stand, some in tears, and said Kelly had taken advantage of and abused them and misled his fans. Kelly, who did not make eye contact with the victims while they made their remarks, looked straight ahead or down and placed his hands on the defense table.

A victim, identified in court as Stephanie, said Kelly has had decades of unrelenting freedom and she hopes he faces prison for the rest of his life. “You made me do things that broke my spirit … I literally wish I would die because you made me feel this way.”

A victim identified as Angela said Kelly “manipulated” millions into believing his self-perception and took his victims’ voices. “Today, I and so many of your victims took it back,” she said. “Today we tried to be heard … we are no longer being hunted by individuals.”

Allegations that Kelly had abused young girls began circulating in the 1990s. He was sued in 1997 by a woman alleging sexual harassment and molestation as a minor, and was later charged with criminal child pornography charges in connection with another girl. A Chicago jury acquitted him in 2008, and Kelly settled the lawsuit.

Evidence of the late R&B singer Aaliyah has also surfaced over the years. Witnesses said they got married in matching jogging suits, with a fake license saying she was 18 not 15. Kelly was 27 at the time. Aaliyah, whose music Kelly produced, died in a plane crash in 2001.

Kelly, who did not testify at the trial, has denied wrongdoing.

He has been held without bail since 2019. He still faces child pornography and obstruction of justice charges in Chicago. That The trial is scheduled to begin in August.

Sophie Reardon contributed to the coverage.

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