R & B star R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison on racketeering and sex trafficking charges

federal racketeering and sex trafficking

federal racketeering and sex trafficking Image CC Ballasyrkelly

Found guilty of federal racketeering and sex trafficking in 2021, R&B singer R. Kelly was today June 29 sentenced to 30 years in prison by the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

Kelly who was found guilty last year for using his fame to ensnare victims he sexually abused was in court to hear the judgement, which his lawyers called “a life sentence” after they pleaded for sentencing of no more than 10 years. Their original request for a fine rather than a prison sentence was declined after prosecutors said that he could easily afford to pay.

Kelly, full name Robert Sylvester Kelly, heard impact statements from seven of Kelly’s victims, including Jane Doe 2, who testified at trial.

She said: “It’s been 23 years since we knew each other, and you’ve victimized a lot of girls since then.

“Now it’s your turn to have your freedom taken from you.”

Convicted on nine counts, one on racketeering and eight of sex trafficking, prosecutors had argued that he had used his celebrity status and a “network of people at his disposal to target girls, boys and young women for his own sexual gratification.”

Amongst the testimonies were from those who were involved in arranging his 1994 marriage to late singer Aliyah who was just 15-years-old at the time.

One of the attorneys representing victims Gloria Allred told reports: “No one can undo the harm that has been done to these victims.

“But at least it’s time for Mr Kelly to be accountable.”

Defence attorneys and prosecutors argued Wednesday in court over whether Kelly even could pay a fine, with the defence claiming he was close to penniless. Prosecutors disagreed, saying money from the sale of some of his music rights and millions of dollars in royalties held by Sony could cover any fine.

Following his conviction Kelly has replaced his entire legal team with Jennifer Bonjean and her firm, Bonjean being the attorney who helped Bill Cosby get his sexual assault conviction overturned.

Kelly who was being held at a federal detention facility in Brooklyn is expected to be moved back to Chicago, where he still has to face charges of child pornography and obstruction.

Lawyers acting on behalf of Kelly have said they will lodge an appeal to have the 30-year prison sentence on racketeering and sex trafficking charges reduced.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com.