R. Kelly was found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking on Wednesday. He was given a sentence of 30 years in prison.
After a nearly three-hour hearing, U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly gave Kelly his sentence and told him he had to pay a $100,000 fine. Kelly did not say anything to the judge. As the sentence was read, the victims held hands, but Kelly didn’t seem to do anything.
In His Racketeering and Sex Trafficking Trial, R. Kelly Was Found Guilty of All Charges
“Even though you used sex as a weapon, this is not a case about sex. This case is about violence, cruelty, and power “During the sentence, Judge Donnelly told him.
Jennifer Bonjean, Kelly’s lawyer, said that they are looking forward to the appeal. “For him, 30 years is a lifetime,” she said. She also made sure to say that he is “not a predator.”
Breon Peace, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said that Kelly’s sentence was a “significant outcome” for the people who were hurt by him.
R. Kelly Was Sentenced to 30 Years in Jail for Sex Trafficking!
Peace says that Kelly “preyed on children and young women for decades.” He would “force victims, even minors, to be in porno films” that the singer “produced and directed.”
“The sentence shows that the witnesses are once again in charge of their own lives,” he said. “This gives them a win. No matter how strong, justice only listens to the truth.”
During the sentencing hearing, seven of Kelly’s victims talked about how the crime affected them.
“You made me do things that made me feel like giving up. Because of how bad you made me feel, I wished I would die “One woman told the singer, who has won a Grammy and sold a lot of platinum records. “Do that come to mind?”
Another woman, who spoke through tears and sniffles, said that Kelly’s conviction gave her faith back in the justice system.
“I had given up hope,” she told the court and the prosecutors. “But you gave me hope again.”
The woman said that Kelly hurt her after she was 17 and went to a concert. She said that she didn’t speak up at the time because she was scared, young, and didn’t know how to handle the situation.
“Silence is a very lonely place,” she said. The singer of “I Believe I Can Fly” was found guilty of racketeering on one count. Racketeering was made up of 14 separate crimes, including sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping, bribery, and sex trafficking.
R. Kelly was also found guilty of breaking the law eight times under the Mann Act. The law makes it illegal to move people from one state to another for “immoral” reasons. Six weeks passed during the trial.
The people who brought the charges against Kelly said that he should spend at least 25 years in prison.
Prosecutors wrote in the filing that Kelly used his “fame, money, and popularity” to “prey on children and young women for his own sexual pleasure.”
“He kept committing crimes and stayed out of jail for almost 30 years, and now he must be held accountable,” wrote prosecutors.
Kelly’s lawyers said he shouldn’t spend more than 10 years in prison because he had a hard childhood that included “severe, long-term childhood sexual abuse, poverty, and violence.”
As an adult with “literacy deficiencies,” the star was “repeatedly cheated and financially abused, often by the people he paid to protect him,” his lawyers said.