R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison

In this courtroom sketch, R. Kelly listens as the jury foreperson reads the verdict, Sept. 27, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Elizabeth Williams)

L.A, 2022-06-29 05:40:00. R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison


New York –


Warning: Some readers may find the details in the story disturbing

Kelly, the disgraced R&B star, was sentenced Wednesday to 30 years in prison for using his fame to sexually abuse young fans, including some who were just children, in a decades-old systematic scheme.

Through tears and anger, several of Kelly’s accusers told a New York City court, and the singer himself, that he misled and took advantage of them.

“You made me do things that broke my soul. An unnamed survivor said, addressing directly to Kelly, who kept his hands folded and his eyes closed.

“do you remember that?” She asked.

Kelly, 55, made no statement and showed no reaction upon hearing of his sentence, which also included a $100,000 fine. He has denied any wrongdoing and plans to appeal his conviction.

The Grammy-winning songwriter who achieved multiple sales last year was convicted of racketeering and sex trafficking in a trial that gave voice to defendants who previously wondered if their stories were being ignored because they were black women.

Another of his accusers said in his verdict that the victims “are no longer the pariahs we used to be.”

“There has never been a day in my life that, up until this point, I really thought the justice system would come for black and brown girls,” she added out of court.

A third woman, crying and cursing as she addressed the court, said Kelly’s conviction had renewed her faith in the legal system.

The woman said Kelly killed her after she went to prom when she was 17.

“I was scared and naive and didn’t know how to handle the situation,” she said, so she didn’t speak at the time.

“Silence is a very lonely place,” she said.

Kelly’s attorney, Jennifer Bunjian, said he was “devastated” by the ruling and saddened by what he heard.

“He’s a human being. He feels what others feel. But that doesn’t mean he can take responsibility the way the government and other people want him to do it. Because he doesn’t fit the descriptions that have been made of him,” she said.

The culmination of the sentence is the slow-motion fall of Kelly, known for his work including the 1996 song “I Believe I Can Fly” and the cult classic “Trapped in the Closet,” a multi-part tale of sexual betrayal and intrigue.

He was loved by legions of fans and sold millions of albums even after allegations of mistreatment of young girls began to become public in the 1990s. He overcame child pornography charges in Chicago in 2008, when a jury acquitted him.

The widespread outrage over Kelly’s sexual misconduct didn’t emerge until the #MeToo account, and reached its peak after the release of the documentary “Surviving R. Kelly.”

“I hope this ruling serves as its own testimony that it doesn’t matter how powerful, rich, or famous the person who offended you is or how little you feel — justice only hears the truth,” Brooklyn District Attorney Bron Pace said Wednesday.

A jury in a federal court in Brooklyn convicted singer Robert Sylvester Kelly after hearing he used his entourage of directors and assistants to meet girls and keep them obedient, a process prosecutors said amounted to a criminal act.

Several defendants testified that Kelly subjugated them to depraved and sadistic whims when they were underage.

The defendants alleged that they were ordered to sign nondisclosure forms and were subjected to threats and punishments such as violent beatings on the buttocks if they violated what one referred to as the “Rob Rules”.

Some said they believed that videos he filmed of them having sex would be used against them if they revealed what was happening.

According to the testimony, Kelly presented multiple herpes accusers without disclosing that he had an STD, forced a teenage boy to join him in having sex with a naked girl who came out from under a boxing ring in his garage, and filmed a disgraceful video that showed one victim getting smeared. excrement on her face as punishment for breaking his rules.

“The horror inflicted on your victims,” ​​US District Judge Ann Donnelly said while convicting him. “There was no price too high to pay for your happiness.”

Lizette Martinez was a 17-year-old aspiring singer when she met Kelly at a Florida mall. On Wednesday, she said outside court that she had been promised mentorship but that she soon ended up as a “sex slave”.

When asked if Kelly’s 30-year prison sentence was sufficient punishment, she paused before responding.

“Personally, I don’t think that’s enough,” she said, “but I’m happy about it.”

At trial, evidence was also presented about a fraudulent marriage scheme set up to protect Kelly after he was feared impregnated with R&B Aaliyah’s phenom in 1994 when she was just 15 years old. 18 was 27 years old at the time.

Aaliyah worked with Kelly, who wrote and produced her 1994 debut album, Age Not a Thing but a Number. She died in a plane crash in 2001 at the age of 22.

Kelly did not testify at his trial, but his then-lawyers portrayed his accusers as girlfriends and groupers who were not forced to do anything against their will and stayed with him because they enjoyed the benefits of his lifestyle.

His current lawyers argued that he should not be sentenced to more than 10 years because he had a traumatic childhood that “involved severe and long-term sexual abuse of children, poverty, and violence.”

His lawyers said that as an adult with “literacy deficiencies,” the star “was repeatedly defrauded and financially abused, often by the people he paid to protect him.”

The Associated Press does not name people who say they have been sexually assaulted or assaulted, unless they come forward in public, as Martinez did. Many of the women who spoke in judging Kelly were identified only by first names or nicknames.

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

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Associated Press reporting by Ted Shaffrey contributed to this report.

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