26th November 2022
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R. Kelly gets 30 years in jail in sex abuse case

Authors: Staff Writter | BBC | New York Times | Published: Wednesday, June 29, 2022

R. Kelly, right, was charged with racketeering and violating a sex trafficking law known as the Mann Act.Credit...Amr Alfiky/Associated Press.

US singer R. Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for sex charges, reports the BBC.

In September, a jury in New York convicted the R&B artist, 55, of racketeering and sex trafficking crimes committed over three decades in the music industry.

The Chicago native – whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly – has already spent close to three years behind bars.

He currently faces separate criminal charges in three other cases.

R. Kelly, the former R&B singer who had long escaped criminal penalties despite decades of sexual misconduct allegations, was sentenced Wednesday.

The sentencing in Brooklyn marks the culmination of a stunning downfall for Mr. Kelly, from a superstar hitmaker who was known as the king of R&B, to a shunned artist whose musical legacy has become inextricable from his abuses, noted the New York Times.

The singer was found guilty on nine counts of racketeering and other crimes in September, after his federal trial in New York shed light on how he used enablers and sycophants to ensnare fans and aspiring artists while controlling their lives.

The case was widely seen as a crucial milestone for the #MeToo movement, representing the first high-profile trial since the national reckoning around sexual misconduct to feature a powerful man whose victims were primarily Black women.

Before the sentence was read, Judge Donnelly listened to several accusers deliver vivid victim impact statements, detailing the ways their lives were marred by the singer.

The accounts added to the trial testimony of 11 accusers — nine women and two men — who often told jurors that Mr. Kelly had inflicted severe sexual, physical and emotional abuse. Several testified that they were minors when he first had sex with them.

Mr. Kelly’s lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, had argued that the government’s understanding of the appropriate sentencing range was flawed — and asked for a sentence of under 10 years. But Judge Donnelly ultimately agreed with prosecutors, who asked for a term “in excess of 25 years.”

The R&B hit maker, is likely to spend much of the rest of his life in prison after being convicted of years of psychological and sexual abuse.

The Times reports, the federal prosecutors wrote in their sentencing letter that Mr. Kelly has shown no remorse and for decades for the effects of his abuse on victims.

“His actions seemed to have been fueled by narcissism and a belief that his musical talent absolved him of any need to conform his conduct to the law,” they wrote in their argument for his sentence.

 

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