The R&B singer known by his stage name R. Kelly, accused of sexual harassment and found guilty, was sentenced to thirty years in prison on Wednesday by the competent federal criminal court in Brooklyn.
Former pop star R. Kelly (full name Robert Sylvester Kelly) was found guilty by a jury last year on nine counts, including sexual exploitation of minors, kidnapping and bribery. However, the penalty has only just been determined. The African-American musician has consistently denied the allegations against him.
Prior to Judge Ann Donnelly’s sentencing, Kelly’s victims were given the opportunity to speak, sometimes in tears, about their ordeals, sexual abuse, physical and mental abuse. One of them said the musician had a “God complex”, “manipulated millions of people” and did “shameful, inexplicable” things.
“Robert, you have ruined so many people,” said another victim. “You are a rapist, shameless, disgusting and conceited,” another woman added. A fourth victim said she doesn’t need Kelly’s remorse because the former star apparently shows no signs of it.
In its motion, the prosecution demanded at least 25 years in prison and a fine ranging from 50,000 to 250,000 dollars.
Grammy-winning Kelly, whose most famous song is I Believe I Can Fly, was tried in Chicago in 2008 for child pornography, but was acquitted. The musician was imprisoned in July 2019 due to the new charges. In August, another lawsuit will be filed against him in federal court for child pornography and obstruction of justice. In addition, he must also face court in Illinois and Minnesota for various charges.