Prosecutors are recommending that disgraced singer R. Kelly should spend more than 25 years in prison.
In September 2021, the 55-year-old was found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking charges.
Eleven accusers testified during the trial that Kelly subjected his victims to sadistic and violent abuse, including two men who alleged they were underage.
Prosecutors detail R. Kelly’s horrid crimes
In a sentencing memo, prosecutors stated the singer “preyed upon children and young women for his own sexual gratification” for decades and “relied upon his fame, money, and popularity” to commit crimes.
Kelly, who won three Grammy Awards for I Believe I Can Fly, is one of the most influential R&B singers and songwriters in history.
His lawyers have argued that he deserves only a maximum of about 17 years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines, according to The Guardian.
A witness testified that the musician’s fraudulent marriage to Aaliyah was motivated by a fear that he had impregnated the then 15-year-old singer in 1994.
The jury heard testimony about how the disgraced hitmaker used a fake I.D license listing Aaliyah’s age as 18 for the marriage while he was 27 years old.
Aaliyah died in a plane crash in 2001 at age 22. Kelly wrote and produced her first album titled, Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number.
R. Kelly’s defense wrote in their memo that prosecutors’ request for a lengthier sentence was an overreach because they falsely claim Kelly participated in the bribery of “a public aid officer to produce an identification card” that allowed the illegal marriage to proceed.
Kelly’s lawyers also should not get more time for one of his victims referred to as “Jane” because: “The record shows that Jane’s parents directed Jane to lie to the defendant about her age and then encouraged her to seduce him,” the memo reads.
The singer is scheduled to be sentenced on 29 June. Regardless of the outcome, he has another criminal trial in August that could see more convictions regarding child pornography.
R. Kelly’s sexual abuse timeline
Throughout his career, spanning three decades, Kelly has faced numerous allegations and rumors of sexually abusing young women and underage girls.
In 2002, R. Kelly survived a sex tape scandal when a video allegedly depicting his sexual abuse of young girls surfaced. He faced numerous counts of child pornography but was acquitted on all charges in 2008.
Several efforts to have Kelly face justice emerged after his acquittal in the high-profile trial. A Buzzfeed article accusing the father of three of running a cult went viral.
This was followed by the Lifetime television docuseries Surviving R. Kelly, which popularized the Mute R. Kelly movement, leading to his record label terminating his contract.