R. Kelly, an American musician and songwriter, was found guilty on Wednesday of sexually assaulting a number of women and girls under the age of 18 and given a sentence of thirty years in jail.
The conviction marks a significant turning point in the singer’s career, which peaked in the 1990s when she was at the height of her fame.
R. Kelly, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly and who is now 55 years old, was given the sentence by Brooklyn Federal Judge Ann Donnelly. R. Kelly could have received a sentence of up to life in prison.
According to Dailyplug, he was found guilty on nine counts of racketeering in September for a decades-long sex abuse scheme that targeted young female fans, some of whom were minors, as well as boys. The scheme targeted both male and female young fans.
Donnelly was requested by the prosecution to hand down a sentence of twenty-five years to the defendant. His legal team argued in a letter that he had suffered serious sexual assault as a kid and deserved a sentence of ten years in prison.
The New York Post quoted an unnamed woman as saying to Kelly: “You made me do things that broke my spirit. I literally wished I would die because of how low you made me feel.”
In a memo to the judge, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York stated, “Indeed, [Kelly’s] decades of crime appear to have been fueled by narcissism and a belief that his musical talent absolved him of any need to confirm his conduct – no matter how predatory, harmful, humiliating, or abusive to others – to the structures of the law.” This statement was made in reference to the decades-long criminal career of
During the course of the almost month-long trial, there were over 40 witnesses and 11 accusers who took the stand.
The jury was told that Kelly would spank girls and women so violently that they would end up with bruises when they disobeyed his rules. He would use shoes, cords, or his fists as weapons.