R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison in sex trafficking case – National

Fallen R&B superstar R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Wednesday for using his fame to systematically sexually abuse young fans – some just children. .

Through tears and anger, some of Kelly’s accusers testified in court, and him, that he preyed on and defrauded his fans.

“You made me do things that broke my spirit. I really wish I would die because of how low you make me feel,” said one unnamed survivor, directly speaking to a Kelly, who always had her arms crossed and her eyes clouded.

“Do you remember that?” she added.

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Kelly, 55, did not speak at his sentencing, where he was also ordered to pay a $100,000 fine. Last year, the multi-platinum, Grammy-winning singer and songwriter was found guilty of fraud and sex trafficking at a trial that prompted previously-said accusers to question whether their story are ignored because they are black women.

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“While sex is certainly the weapon you used, this is not the case about sex. It was a case of violence, cruelty and control,” US District Judge Ann Donnelly told him.

The verdict speaks to a slow fall for Kelly, who was loved by countless fans and sold millions of albums even after allegations of his abuse of young girls began to surface. went viral in the 1990s.

The widespread outrage over Kelly’s sexual misconduct didn’t come until the #MeToo reckoning, which peaked after the document was released. Survive R. Kelly.

Kelly’s attorneys argued that he should not receive a prison sentence of more than 10 years because he had a traumatic childhood “involving severe, prolonged childhood sexual abuse, poverty, and violence.” .”

As an adult with “literacy impairments,” the star was “repeatedly defrauded and financially abused, often by people he paid to protect,” his attorney said. he say.

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Hitmaker known for work including 1996 hits I believe that I can fly and cult classics Stuck in the closeta multi-part story of betrayal and sexual conspiracies.

Allegations that Kelly abused young girls began circulating publicly in the 1990s. He was sued by a woman in 1997 alleging sexual abuse and sexual harassment while she was a teenager. juvenile, and he later faced child pornography charges involving another girl in Chicago. A jury there acquitted him in 2008, and he settled the case.

During that time, Kelly went on to sell millions of albums.

A Brooklyn federal court jury convicted him after hearing that he used his entourage of managers and assistants to meet girls and keep them obedient, an activity which prosecutors consider to be a criminal enterprise.

Kelly, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, used her “fame, money, and popularity” to “prey children and young women for sexual gratification,” prosecutors wrote. in a court filing earlier this month.

Several accusers testified that Kelly subjected them to depraved and brutal acts while they were underage.

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The accusers allege they were ordered to sign non-disclosure forms and subject to threats and punishments such as violent spanking if they broke what is known as “Rob’s rule”.

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Some said they believed the tapes he filmed of them having sex would be used against them if they revealed what was going on.

According to testimony, Kelly gave several whistleblowers without disclosing that he had an STD, forcing a teenage boy to join him for sex with a nude girl. emerges from beneath the boxing ring in his garage, and shoots an embarrassing video showing a victim being smeared. poop on her face as punishment for breaking his rules.

Kelly has denied any wrongdoing. He did not testify at his trial, but his attorneys at the time described his accusers as girlfriends and the group of friends who were not forced to do anything against their will and stay with him because they enjoy the privileges of his way of life.

Evidence was also presented of a fraudulent marriage plot put in place to protect Kelly after he feared he had laced R&B Aaliyah in 1994 when she was 15 years old. He was 27 years old then.

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Aaliyah worked with Kelly, who wrote and produced her 1994 debut album, Age is nothing but a number. She died in a plane crash in 2001 at the age of 22.

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An earlier defense memo showed prosecutors’ argument for a higher sentence by perjury. Kelly was involved in offering a bribe to a government official to facilitate the marriage. illegal.

The Associated Press does not name people who say they have been sexually assaulted or abused, unless they are publicly available. The women who spoke during Kelly’s sentencing were identified only by name or pseudonym.

Kelly has been jailed without bail since 2019. He still faces child pornography and obstruction of justice charges in Chicago, where the trial is scheduled to begin on Jan. August 15.


Associated Press journalists Jennifer Peltz and Ted Shaffrey contributed to this report.

© 2022 Canadian Press

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