R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison on sex abuse charges

R. Kelly prison
R.Kelly at the premiere of Trapped In The Closet in 2007. Pic credit: © Jordan/PHOTOlink

R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison following his conviction on nine federal charges related to physically and sexually abusing women and minors.

The disgraced singer has long evaded criminal charges after nearly three decades of allegations.

As previously reported, prosecutors had recommended a 25-year sentence, while Kelly’s defense team had argued for 14 to 17 years.

Judge admonishes R. Kelly in sentencing

In the federal courthouse on Wednesday, Judge Ann M. Donnelly told the former R&B star that “the public has to be protected from behaviors like this,” per The New York Times.

Donnelly said that her sentence is one she “would have imposed regardless of the guidelines.”

She went on to detail instances of abuse and violence at the hands of the 55-year-old singer that were brought up during the trial and directly admonished Kelly about what he did to his victims.

“These crimes were calculated and carefully planned and regularly executed for almost 25 years,” she said, adding, “You taught them that love is enslavement and violence.”

Last year, a jury found the singer guilty of nine federal charges, one racketeering count, and eight Mann Act violations.

Witnesses testified that Kelly fraudulently married R&B singer Aaliyah in 1994. She was 15 at the time, and Kelly reportedly believed she was pregnant.

The witness said the singer got Aaliyah a fake ID that claimed she was 18 years old to protect himself from potential legal repercussions.

Kelly’s live-in girlfriends and former employees testified against him, aiding in his conviction last year.  

Numerous women who were abused by the former superstar gave witness statements in court. They described how Kelly used the allure of his fame and wealth to attract, imprison and assault young women.

NYT reports that a woman named Kitti Jones said in court that Kelly did things to her that she “plans to take to my grave,” also saying, “Many of us have been waiting for this day to come.”

At least seven women gave impact statements as Kelly sat in court.

R. Kelly set for another federal trial in August

The I Believe I Can Fly singer’s legal issues are not over, as he could see more years added to his lengthy prison sentence.

Kelly is scheduled to go on trial, this time back in Chicago on August 15, where he faces federal charges for producing child pornography and drawing minors to perform set acts, according to Insider.

In 2008, Kelly had one of the most high-profile criminal trials, where he was acquitted of child pornography-related charges.

Two of his former employees, Derrel McDavid and Milton Brown, stand accused of conspiring to conceal and manipulate the case’s outcome by paying off witnesses in the trial about 14 years ago.

Kelly, McDavid, and Brown have pleaded not guilty to the allegations.

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