R&B singer R. Kelly gets sentenced to 30 years in prison. He was convicted by the federal court last year on racketeering and sex trafficking charges. Kelly faced seven of his accusers in the court today as they gave their impact statements which included their encounters with the singer.
Prosecutors requested that the singer be thrown behind the bars for more than 25 years to “protect the public” from him. Last September, he was convicted on nine counts. It included eight counts of Mann Act violations and one of racketeering.
The court decision was announced by U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly who fined him a $100,000 fine after a three-hour-long hearing. Kelly had nothing to say in his defense.
Kelly appeared in court Wednesday for his sentencing hearing. (Amr Alfiky)
As the sentence was read, the victims held hands and Kelly had no reaction whatsoever.
During the sentencing the judge told Kelly:
Although sex was certainly a weapon that you used, this is not a case about sex. It’s a case about violence, cruelty, and control.
Kelly’s lawyer Jennifer Bonjean defended her client and said they are going to appeal. She said:
“30 years is like life for him.” She emphasized that her client was “not a predator.”
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breon Peace said that the sentence was a “significant outcome” for people who were abused by Kelly.
Peace said Kelly “preyed upon children and young women … for decades.” He would “force victims, including minors” to appear in “porno films” which he “produced and directed.”
He added, “The sentence shows that the witnesses reclaim control over their lives. This is a victory for them. It doesn’t matter how powerful … justice only hears the truth.”
In her impact statement a victim said:
“You made me do things that broke my spirit. I literally wished I would die because of how low you made me feel. Do you remember that?”
Another woman sniffled and sobbed as she said that Kelly’s conviction restored her faith in the legal system while addressing the court and the prosecutors.
“I once lost hope. but you restored my faith.”
According to her, she was victimized by Kelly after she attended a concert when she was 17 years old.
She said, “I was afraid, naïve, and didn’t know to handle the situation,” she said, so she didn’t speak up at the time. “Silence is a very lonely place.”
The “I Believe I Can Fly” singer was also convicted on one account of racketeering. It included 14 underlying acts of sexually exploiting a child, kidnapping, bribery, and sex trafficking charges.
He was also convicted of eight violations of the Mann Act which makes it illegal to transport people across the state for “immoral purposes.”
The trial went on for six weeks.
According to the prosecutors, Kelly used his “fame, money and popularity” to systematically “prey upon children and young women for his own sexual gratification. He continued his crimes and avoided punishment for them for almost 30 years and must now be held to account.”
Whereas Kelly’s lawyers argued he shouldn’t get more than 10 years in prison because of his “traumatic childhood involving severe, prolonged childhood sexual abuse, poverty, and violence.” Also because as an adult, Kelly had “literacy deficiencies” and “repeatedly defrauded and financially abused, often by the people he paid to protect him.”
The Associated Press included their findings in this report.
Andrea Junker (@Strandjunker) expressed frustration on how riches have been protected by people and the system for so long:
Everyone knew about R. Kelly. Everyone knew about Jeffrey Epstein, Bill Cosby, and Harvey Weinstein. Everyone knew about the Catholic priests. Everyone knew about Trump. I am so tired of people protecting rich perverts, keeping their dark secrets for decades. So damn tired.
— Andrea Junker (@Strandjunker) June 29, 2022
Nikhil Sankar (@nikhilsanka1) was glad to see the perpetrators getting what they deserved:
R. Kelly, Cosby, Ghislaine Maxwell, Amber Heard. All abusers. All held accountable this month. Love to see it.
— Nikhil Sankar 🇬🇾 (@nikhilsanka1) June 30, 2022
@CallToActivism called for another possible candidate to be punished accordingly:
R. Kelly gets 30 years. Ghislaine Maxwell got 20.
Can Matt Gaetz be next?
— CALL TO ACTIVISM (@CalltoActivism) June 30, 2022
Hollywood has been on a roll with a bunch of celebrities dealing with the due diligence of their actions in the past. Just last year, R Kelly was caught guilty on nine charges, one against Azriel Clary who spoke about the abuse by saying, “It was very disturbing to have to relive those moments.”
On June 28, Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison for aiding Jeffrey Epstein in the sex trafficking of minors for decades as the judge found her “criminal activity extensive.”
Hollywood also unveiled a docuseries on Cosby: We Need To Talk About Cosby that unraveled the truths behind drug-assisted sexual abuse, rape, and sexual violation accusations by more than sixty women in over 60 years of his life.
Let us know if you think R. Kelly’s “30 years in jail” verdict reflects justice.