R. Kelly, 55, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison in sex trafficking case.
According to reports, U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly sentenced Kelly after a nearly three-hour hearing. His victims reportedly held hands while the sentence was read.
Seven of the victims gave statements during the hearing today. “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 said. “Do you remember that?”
Another woman says, “I once lost hope,” she said, addressing the court and prosecutors, “but you restored my faith.”
The woman said Kelly victimized her after she went to a concert when she was 17. “I was afraid, naive and didn’t know to handle the situation,” she said, so she didn’t speak up at the time. “Silence,” she said, “is a very lonely place.”
BREAKING: R&B singer R. Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for using his superstardom to subject young fans — some just children — to systematic sexual abuse. https://t.co/63L9C6w8xq
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 29, 2022
U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly sentenced Kelly after a nearly three-hour hearing. His victims reportedly held hands while the sentence was read. “These crimes were calculated and carefully planned and regularly executed for almost 25 years,” she said. “You taught them that love is enslavement and violence.”
Federal prosecutors wrote in their sentencing letter R. Kelly has shown “no remorse” and for decades “exhibited a callous disregard” for the effects of his abuse on victims.
“He committed these crimes using his fame and stardom as both a shield, which prevented close scrutiny or condemnation of his actions,” prosecutors wrote. “And a sword, which gave him access to wealth and a network of enablers to facilitate his crimes, and an adoring fan base from which to cull his victims.”