R Kelly Jailed In Sex Trafficking Case: Grammy award winning disgraced R&B singer R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison Wednesday for leading a decades-long effort to recruit and trap teenagers and women for sex. According to Variety, Robert Sylvester Kelly, a 55-year-old singer, was found guilty of racketeering and eight charges of breaking the Mann Act, which forbids moving persons between states for prostitution.
Through tears and anger, several of Kelly’s accusers told a court in New York City, and the singer himself, that he had misled and preyed upon them. 45 witnesses testified for the government, and he has been imprisoned since July 2019. He is still facing accusations in Chicago of child pornography and obstructing the course of justice, in addition to charges from state courts in Illinois and Minnesota.
Judge Ann Donnelly handed down the term in the Brooklyn federal court nearly a year after the 55-year-old Kelly was convicted by a New York jury.
“The verdict is in: R. Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years,” the US attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York said in a tweet.
Kelly, didn’t give a statement and showed no reaction on hearing his penalty, which also included a $100,000 fine. He has denied wrongdoing, and he plans to appeal his conviction.
Kelly’s lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, said he was “devastated” by the sentence and saddened by what he had heard.
“He’s a human being. He feels what other people are feeling. But that doesn’t mean that he can accept responsibility in the way that the government would like him to and other people would like him to. Because he disagrees with the characterizations that have been made about him,” she said.
R Kelly’s current lawyers had argued he should get no more than 10 years in prison because he had a traumatic childhood “involving severe, prolonged childhood sexual abuse, poverty, and violence.”
As an adult with “literacy deficiencies,” the star was “repeatedly defrauded and financially abused, often by the people he paid to protect him,” his lawyers said.
Kelly has been jailed without bail since 2019. He still faces child pornography and obstruction-of-justice charges in Chicago, where a trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 15.
With AP inputs