Washington [US], June 30 (ANI): 'R&B' star R. Kelly was sentenced to a 30-year jail on Wednesday for leveraging his fame to repeatedly sexually assault young followers, some of whom were just childrens.
According to Variety, Robert Sylvester Kelly, a 55-year-old singer, was found guilty of racketeering and eight charges of breaking the Mann Act, which forbids moving persons between states for prostitution. 45 witnesses testified for the government, and he has been imprisoned since July 2019. He is still facing accusations in Chicago of child pornography and obstructing the course of justice, in addition to charges from state courts in Illinois and Minnesota.
A six-week trial revealed how Kelly had used workers and intermediaries to entice fans and aspiring singers into sexually abusive and controlling conditions, including locking them in rooms without food or access to a bathroom for days. Kelly, one of the most successful hitmakers of the 1990s and early 2000s, was found guilty of all nine counts against him in September.
Given Kelly's persistent threat to the public and obvious lack of remorse for allegedly leveraging his popularity to sexually and emotionally abuse his victims, many of whom were minors, federal prosecutors had requested a term of "in excess of 25 years."
Even though Kelly had been found guilty of planning for decades to recruit women, underage girls, and men for sex, his lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, who also represented Bill Cosby in his successful appeal of a sexual assault conviction last year, argued for a minimum sentence of no more than 10 years in prison, claiming that the singer's own abuse as a child may have contributed to his "hypersexuality" later in life.
Angela, the first victim to speak, stood at a lectern and addressed Kelly directly as she described him as a Pied Piper who seduced youngsters with his wealth and notoriety.
"With every addition of a new victim, you grew in wickedness. You used your fame and power to groom and coach underage boys and girls for your own sexual gratification. We are no longer the preyed-upon individuals we once prayed that god reaches your soul," she said.
The last four years have been a brutal awakening of how my silence has harmed others, according to a second victim named Addie, who expressed guilt over remaining quiet for decades about her 1990s encounter with Kelly.
Nine women and two men gave vivid accounts of Kelly's sexual and mental abuse at the trial last autumn, and some of them testified under oath that they were minors when he first had sex with them.
Kelly allegedly exhibits no remorse for or even acknowledgement of his unlawful behaviour, displaying "a callous disregard" for the effects of his abuse, which was allegedly "fueled by narcissism and a belief that his musical talent absolved him of any need to conform to his conduct" to the law, according to the prosecution's letter regarding the sentencing, as reported by Variety.
Following the punishment, Kelly will probably be moved to Chicago, where he will stand trial in August on allegations of obstruction and child pornography. (ANI)