R. Kelly
Photo: Nicholas Ballasy

R. Kelly Sentenced To 30 Years In Prison

After being convicted of racketeering and sex trafficking in 2021, disgraced R&B singer/songwriter R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison earlier today (6.29.)

Following a three-hour hearing U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly imposed the three-decade long sentence on the musician (born Robert Sylvester Kelly) and ordered him to pay a $100,000 fine .

“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,” Judge Donnelly told him during the sentencing though Kelly had no apparent reaction.

Seven of Kelly’s numerous victims gave impact statements during the sentencing hearing.

“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 Grammy-winning, multiplatinum-selling singer. “Do you remember that?”

Another woman, sobbing and sniffling as she spoke, said Kelly’s conviction restored her faith in the legal system, stating “I once lost hope,” she said, addressing the court and prosecutors, “but you restored my faith.” The woman said Kelly victimized her after she went to a concert when she was 17. “I was afraid, naive and didn’t know to handle the situation,” she said, so she didn’t speak up at the time. “Silence,” she said, “is a very lonely place.”

The “I Believe I Can Fly” singer was convicted on one count of racketeering including 14 underlying acts of sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping, bribery, and sex trafficking charges.

R. Kelly was also convicted on eight violations of the Mann Act. The legislation makes it illegal to transport people across state lines for “immoral purposes.”

The 2021 trial lasted six weeks and following today’s sentencing, Kelly did not address the court and emphasizing that he is “not a predator,” Kelly’s lawyer Jennifer Bonjean said they look forward to the appeal, stating “30 years is like life for him.”

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Author: Saul Goode

Photo: Nicholas Ballasy