R. Kelly Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison After Sex Trafficking Conviction


Robert Kelly, better known as R. Kelly, learned his prison sentence on Wednesday.

The Grammy-winning singer was convicted on sex trafficking, sexual exploitation of a child and numerous racketeering charges last year, according to The New York Times. He was also found guilty of violating the Mann Act, a federal law that criminalizes transporting women or girls across state lines for purposes of prostitution.

He was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison and given a $100,000 fine for his crimes.

Kelly’s attorneys had sought a sentence below 10 years. The sentencing judge ultimately agreed with prosecutors’ request for a sentence of more than 25 years.

Kelly was one of the most popular recording artists of the 1990s and 2000s.

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“Although sex was certainly a weapon that you used, this is not a case about sex. It’s a case about violence, cruelty and control,” Judge Ann Donnelly told Kelly during his sentencing, according to Fox News.

Prosecutors argued in a letter that Kelly was “fueled by narcissism and a belief that his musical talent absolved him of any need to conform his conduct.”

Several of Kelly’s victims spoke before the New York court before he was sentenced.

“You made me do things that broke my spirit. I literally wished I would die because of how low you made me feel,” one woman told him. “Do you remember that?”

The father of one of the victims also addressed Kelly directly.

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“I didn’t come here to bash Mr. Kelly,” he said. “I do want to ask you, Mr. Kelly, to look at me, man to man, father to father. … Put yourself in my shoes. I’ve certainly put myself in your shoes.”

Kelly declined to speak during the sentencing, with his attorney Jennifer Bonjean citing pending litigation.

“I personally don’t think it’s enough but I’m pleased with it,” said Lizette Martinez, a woman who was abused by Kelly, after the sentencing.

Kelly had been accused of sexual misconduct as early as the 1990s.

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Kelly faces yet another federal trial in Chicago in August, with the government accusing him of producing child pornography and luring minors into sex acts. He’s pleaded not guilty to the new charges.

Kelly is 55. Federal prisoners have to serve 85 percent of their sentence before they’re eligible for early release.

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