By Florence Mafomemeh
No Way R. Kelly Could Have Gotten Away With Such Horrendous Crimes! How he thought he could have been let loose with such dreadful monstrosities has left many still shaking their heads.
Sex trafficking, racketeering on nine counts involving women, girls and boys, Sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping, bribery, violation of the Mann Act are the crimes that disgraced R & B Singer, R. Kelly was convicted of and sentenced to 30 years in prison, more than 20 years after first facing allegations.
U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly handed down the sentence in Brooklyn, New York on Wednesday, June 29, months after Kelly was convicted on all nine counts in a high-profile sex trafficking and federal racketeering case.
Prosecutors from the Eastern District of New York accused Kelly of using his status as a celebrity and a “network of people at his disposal to target girls, boys and young women for his own sexual gratification.”
Donnelly didn’t mince any words as she threw the book at the once-adored musician.
“You were a person who had great advantages — worldwide fame and celebrity and untold money,” she said. “You took advantage of their hopes and dreams, holding teenagers in your house trapped. You were at the top of your organization, and you raped and beat them, separated them from their families and forced them to do unspeakable things.”
The federal trial in Brooklyn that took five weeks included testimony from witnesses who said they were sexually and physically abused by Kelly. The court also heard from people involved with orchestrating the disgraced R&B singer’s 1994 marriage to the late singer Aaliyah when she was just 15 years old and he was an adult after she believed she’d gotten pregnant.
Prosecutors had asked the judge to sentence Kelly, 55, to more than 25 years behind bars, while his defense attorneys asked for 10 or fewer, saying prosecutors’ request was “tantamount to a life sentence.”
Kelly’s conviction represents a victory for survivors of sexual violence, particularly those who may hesitate to speak out against abusers for for fear of retribution.
Kelly’s sentence is not the end of his legal troubles. In a federal court in Chicago, he is charged with enticement of a minor, possession of child abuse images and obstruction of justice. That trial is set for August 1.
The 55-year-old Kelly was first criminally charged with producing child ponography in 2002 and acquitted in 2008.