*R. Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison after a Brooklyn jury found him guilty last year of racketeering and sex trafficking.
We reported previously that the case was opened following the “Surviving R. Kelly” docuseries that aired on Lifetime in 2019. Prosecutors allege that Kelly “methodically groomed the women and girls in his orbit to meet all of his sexual needs.”
Federal prosecutors in New York wanted the 55-year-old hitmaker to spend more than 25 years in prison but an attorney for the singer asked a federal judge to sentence him to no more than 10 years in prison, blaming Kelly’s “hypersexual” behavior on being sexually abused by his sister as a child, Insider reports.
“A 25-year sentence is tantamount to a life sentence for Defendant who is 55 years old,” Kelly’s attorney Jennifer Bonjean wrote. “Defendant’s convictions involve four victims who describe conduct that is simply not deserving of a de facto life sentence.”
In their filing seeking a lengthy prison sentence, prosecutors cited Kelly’s “decades of crime” sexually abusing women and girls and his “callous disregard for the very real effects that his crimes had on his victims,” according to a sentencing memorandum filed this month, according to CNN. They also argued that his actions were fueled by a belief that his “musical talent absolved him of any need to conform his conduct — no matter how predatory, harmful, humiliating or abusive to others — to the strictures of the law.”
As reported by Fox News, seven of Kelly’s alleged victims gave impact statements during the sentencing hearing on Wednesday (June 29).
“You made me do things that broke my spirit. I literally wished I would die because of how low you made me feel,” one woman told the singer. “Do you remember that?”
Kelly, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, was convicted on one count of racketeering. Per the report, “the racketeering includes 14 underlying acts of sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping, bribery, and sex trafficking charges.”
The Chicago native was also convicted of eight violations of the Mann Act, which makes it illegal to transport people across state lines for “immoral purposes” such as sexual activities.
“R. Kelly’s enterprise was not only engaged in music; as alleged, for two decades the enterprise at the direction of R. Kelly preyed upon young women and teenagers whose dreams of meeting a superstar, soon turned into a nightmare of rape, child pornography and forced labor,” Angel Melendez, special agent in charge from Homeland Security Investigations, said in a statement after Kelly’s 2019 indictment, PEOPLE reports.
R. Kelly’s sex crimes case in Chicago is still pending and will reportedly get underway in August.