Singer, R. Kelly Sentenced To 30 Years In Prison In Sex Trafficking Case
American R&B star, R. Kelly, 55, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, was on Wednesday, June 29, sentenced to 30 years in federal prison months after he was convicted on all nine counts against him in a high-profile sex trafficking case.
Recall that last September, the embattled singer was convicted on federal racketeering and sex trafficking charges stemming from his endeavors over years to utilize his popularity to ensnare victims he sexually abused.
A jury had convicted Kelly on nine counts, including one charge of racketeering and eight counts of violations of the Mann Act, a sex trafficking law.
Also, R. Kelly was accused by Prosecutors from the Eastern District of New York of using his status as a celebrity and a “network of people at his disposal to target girls, boys and young women for his own sexual gratification.”
During the trial in Brooklyn, witnesses who said they were sexually and physically abused by Kelly testified against.
The court likewise heard from individuals associated with organizing the disgraced R&B artist’s 1994 union with the late singer Aaliyah when she was only 15 years of age and he was a grown-up after she accepted she’d gotten pregnant.
At the hearing in federal court in Brooklyn on Wednesday, June 29, prosecutors had asked the judge to sentence R. Kelly to more than 25 years behind bars.
However, his defence attorneys asked for 10 or fewer, saying prosecutors’ request was, “tantamount to a life sentence.”
According to CNN, Survivors of Kelly’s abuse held hands and prayed as US District Court Judge Ann Donnelly began reading his sentence.
On the other hand, R. Kelly, who wore a tan prison uniform, dark-rimmed glasses and a black mask, showed no emotion.
“You left in your wake a trail of broken lives,” Donnelly told Kelly.
In deciding the sentence, Donnelly said she considered Kelly’s own horrible childhood, during which his lawyers said he was over and over sexually abused by a family member and a landlord.
“It may explain, at least in part, what led to your behavior.It most surely is not an excuse.” the judge said.
Kelly’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, said he wouldn’t address the court, pointing to the other criminal case faced by Kelly, but said before the sentence was perused that her client “rejects that he is this monster.”
“He accepts that he is a flawed individual but he is not this one-dimensional monster that the government has portrayed and the media has portrayed.” Bonjean said.
R. Kelly made his only comment in response to the judge after Bonjean said he wouldn’t speak: “Yes, your honor, that’s my wish.”
Before the sentencing, the court heard impact statements from seven of Kelly’s victims, including Jane Doe 2, who testified at trial.
“It’s been 23 years since we knew each other, and you’ve victimized a lot of girls since then. Now it’s your turn to have your freedom taken from you.” She said addressing Kelly.
Attorney Gloria Allred, who represented three victims who testified, told reporters Wednesday outside court;
“No one can undo the harm that has been done to these victims But at least it’s time for Mr. Kelly to be accountable.”
Meanwhile, Defense attorneys and prosecutors contended yesterday in court about whether R. Kelly even could pay a fine. The protection said he is, “pretty close to indigent,” and proved unable.
However, the Prosecutors disagreed, stating that moneyfrom the offer of a portion of his music rights and a great many dollars in royalties held by Sony could cover any fine.
Presently, R. Kelly is being held at a federal detention facility in Brooklyn. He was expected to be moved back to Chicago, where he faces another federal trial in August on child pornography and obstruction charges.
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