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 subject young fans – some as young as children – to systematic sexual abuse.

Through tears and anger, several of Kelly’s accusers told a court and him that he had hunted them and misled his fans.

“You made me do things that broke my mind. I literally wished I would die because of how low you made me feel,” said an unnamed survivor, addressing a Kelly who kept his hands clasped and eyes downcast.

“Do you remember that?” she added.

Read more:

Travis Barker rushed to hospital, daughter asks fans to ‘send prayers’: Report

Kelly, 55, did not speak during his sentencing, where he was also sentenced to pay a $100,000 fine. The Grammy-winning, multi-platinum-selling singer and songwriter was convicted last year of racketeering and sex trafficking in a trial that gave voice to prosecutors who had previously questioned whether their stories were being ignored because they were black women.

“While sex was certainly a weapon you used, this isn’t about sex. It’s a case of violence, cruelty and control,” U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly told him.

The phrase caps off a slow-motion trap for Kelly, who was adored by legions of fans and sold millions of albums even after allegations of his abuse of young girls began circulating publicly in the 1990s.

Widespread outrage over Kelly’s sexual misconduct only came after the #MeToo settlement, reaching a crescendo after the release of the docuseries Survivor R. Kelly

Kelly’s lawyers had argued that he would face no more than 10 years in prison for having had a traumatic childhood “with severe, long-term sexual abuse, poverty and childhood violence”.

As an adult with “literacy flaws,” the star was “repeatedly scammed and financially abused, often by the people he paid to protect him,” his lawyers said.

The hitmaker is known for his work, including the 1996 hit I believe I can fly and the cult classic Locked in the closeta multi-part tale of sexual betrayal and intrigue.

Allegations that Kelly abused young girls began circulating publicly in the 1990s. He was charged in 1997 by a woman who alleged sexual harassment and sexual harassment while she was a minor, and he was later confronted with criminal child pornography related to another girl in Chicago. A jury acquitted him there in 2008 and he settled the trial.

All the while, Kelly continued to sell millions of albums.

The Brooklyn federal court convicted him after learning that he was using his entourage of managers and assistants to meet and keep girls obedient, an operation that prosecutors say amounted to a criminal enterprise.

Kelly, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, used his “fame, money and popularity” to systematically “rob children and young women for his own sexual satisfaction,” prosecutors wrote in a lawsuit earlier this month.

Several prosecutors have stated that Kelly subjected them to perverted and sadistic whims when they were minors.

Read more:

‘ER’ actor Mary Mara, 61, dies in apparent drowning in St. Lawrence River

Prosecutors claimed they were ordered to sign nondisclosure forms and subjected to threats and punishments such as violent beatings if they violated so-called “Rob’s rules”.

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

According to testimony, Kelly gave several accusers herpes without revealing he had an STD, forced a teenage boy to have sex with him with a naked girl who came out from under a boxing ring in his garage, and made an embarrassing video showing a victim seeing was feces on her face as punishment for breaking his rules.

Kelly has denied any allegation. He did not testify at his trial, but his lawyers at the time depicted his accusers as girlfriends and groupies who were not forced to do anything against their will and stayed with him because they enjoyed the benefits of his lifestyle.

Evidence was also presented of a fraudulent marriage scheme hatched to protect Kelly after he feared he impregnated R&B phenom Aaliyah in 1994 when she was just 15. he was 27 at the time.

Read more:

Missing boy found alive after surviving 8 days in German sewer

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.

An earlier defense memo suggested the plaintiffs’ arguments for a higher sentence were overshot by falsely alleging that Kelly participated in paying a bribe to a government official to facilitate the illegal marriage.

The Associated Press does not name people who claim to have been sexually assaulted or abused unless they come forward publicly. The women who spoke at Kelly’s sentencing were identified only by first names or pseudonyms.

Kelly has been held without bail since 2019. He continues to face child pornography and obstruction of justice in Chicago, which is due to start a trial on August 15.

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

© 2022 The Canadian Press