On Wednesday, R. Kelly was informed of his destiny in a Brooklyn courtroom (June 29). According to the Associated Press, the disgraced R&B artist, 55, may potentially spend the rest of his life in jail after receiving a 30 year sentence from U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly.
During her trial in September 2021, Kells was found guilty on nine counts related to different racketeering and sex trafficking allegations.
“You made me do things that broke my spirit,” one alleged victim said in court. “I literally wished I would die because of how low you made me feel. Do you remember that?”
Eleven accusers, including several who were adolescents when they first had sex with the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer, (nine women and two men) testified that Kelly had abused them.
“He committed these crimes using his fame and stardom as both a shield, which prevented close scrutiny or condemnation of his actions,” federal prosecutors added. “And a sword, which gave him access to wealth and a network of enablers to facilitate his crimes, and an adoring fan base from which to cull his victims.”
Before Donnelly gave Kelly a 30-year jail term, federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York allegedly sought the judge to impose a 25-year prison term on the troubled singer. R. Kelly’s attorneys claimed that because to the trauma and abuse he experienced during his difficult upbringing, he should only be sentenced to ten years.
The situation was considered a turning moment in the #MeToo movement. Following the debut of Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly documentary series in early 2019, Kelly’s criticism gained momentum. R. Kelly was charged with child pornography in Illinois in 2008 but was ultimately found not guilty.
“The defendant’s victims aren’t groupies or gold diggers. They’re human beings,” U.S. attorney Nadia Shihata said. “Daughters, sisters, some are now mothers. And their lives matter.”