R. Kelly gets 30 years in jail for sex abuse
The R&B singer, 55, was convicted of racketeering and sex trafficking in New York in September.
He had faced charges for years, and the court remarked on Wednesday that he exhibited an “indifference to human pain.”
The singer’s lawyers said he will appeal. His true name is Robert Sylvester Kelly.
A few women took the stand before Kelly’s sentence to confront him.
A lady only known as Angela described the singer as a Pied Piper who “increased in depravity” with each new victim, while others who did not want to be named said he crushed their spirits.
“I genuinely hoped I died because of how you made me feel,” one of them remarked.
Kelly, dressed in prison khakis and thick glasses, refused to make a statement and did not react as the decision was read out.
According to US District Judge Ann Donnelly, the celebrity used sex as a weapon, compelling his victims to perform horrific things and infecting them with deadly illnesses.
“You taught them that love is captivity and brutality,” she said.
The court heard how Kelly, well known for hit songs such as I Believe I Can Fly and Ignition, exploited his celebrity to entice women and children into sexual assault over a two-decade period.
Jurors heard how he trafficked women between several US states with the help of managers, security guards, and other members of his entourage during his six-week trial in Brooklyn.
Kelly allegedly unlawfully got documents to marry singer Aaliyah when she was 15 in 1994, seven years before the singer died in a plane accident, according to the court.
Aaliyah’s age was indicated as 18 on the certificate, which was leaked at the time. Months later, the marriage was declared null and void.
Given the gravity of his offenses and the “need to safeguard the public from similar crimes,” federal prosecutors urged that Kelly be sentenced to more than 25 years in prison.
However, his attorneys requested a sentence of 10 years or less, the legal minimum for his guilt.
They presented Kelly as growing up impoverished in a home full of domestic violence and sexual abuse from an early age.
He was “devastated” by the punishment, they claimed, and he intended to appeal.
Kelly has been detained since federal prosecutors in New York and Chicago charged him in July 2019.
His three years in prison have been dramatic, including a beating at the hands of another convict in 2020 and a fight with Covid-19 earlier this year.
The singer is scheduled to go on trial again in August, this time in Chicago, on child sex image and obstruction allegations.
He is also scheduled to appear in court in Illinois and Minnesota on sex abuse accusations.