R. Kelly Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison on Racketeering, Sex Trafficking Charges

R. Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years in prison after being convicted of leading a criminal enterprise aimed to help him prey on boys, girls, and adults for his own sexual gratification.

He faced a maximum sentence of life in prison, with federal prosecutors having asked for a minimum of 25 years.

via Daily Beast:

Kelly, 55, was found guilty last September of all charges against him in Brooklyn federal court. They included racketeering based on sexual exploitation of children, kidnapping, forced labor, and violations of the Mann Act, which barred the transport of people across state lines for sex.

“These victims were disposable to you,” Judge Anna Donnelly told Kelly before imposing the sentence that also includes a $100,000 fine. “You left in your wake a trail of broken lives … you taught them that love is enslavement and violence and humiliation.”

As the sentencing was read, Kelly, wearing black glasses and a khaki shirt, remained emotionless.

Several women issued victim impact statements before the sentence was rendered, all detailing the effects of Kelly’s pattern of sexual, emotional, and physical abuse. A woman identified as Angela, who testified at trial about how she was sexually assaulted by the singer when she was a teenager, looked directly at Kelly as she called him a “pied piper” who lured children with fame.

“With every addition of a new victim, you grew in wickedness,” Angela said. “You used your fame and power to groom and coach underage boys and girls for your own sexual gratification.”

Lizette Martinez, who was in the Surviving R. Kelly docu-series, kept it simple in her statement to the court on Wednesday: “Robert, you destroyed so many people’s lives.”

The grueling six-week trial came after two years of delays spurred by a global pandemic and various legal hurdles—and decades of allegations, charges, and lawsuits. During his sentencing hearing on Wednesday, prosecutors focused on the harrowing abuse revealed during the trial while recommending that Kelly be sentenced to more than 25 years in prison to “protect the public from further crimes.”

“He continued his crimes and avoided punishment for them for almost 30 years and must now be held to account,” federal prosecutors said in a 31-page sentencing memo. “Indeed, the defendant’s decades of crime appear to have been fueled by narcissism and 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 structures of the law.”

R. Kelly’s attorneys are expected to appeal the decision, but as far as we’re concerned he can rot behind bars — and then again in hell.

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