R. Kelly Sentenced To 30 Years In Sex Trafficking Case

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R&B
star
R.
Kelly
was
sentenced
to
30
years
in
prison
Wednesday
for
using
his
superstardom
to
subject
young
fans

some
just
children

to
systematic
sexual
abuse.
The
singer
and
songwriter,
55,
was
convicted
of
racketeering
and
sex
trafficking
last
year
at
a
trial
that
gave
voice
to
accusers
who
had
once
wondered
if
their
stories
were
being
ignored
because
they
were
Black
women.
U.S.

r kelly

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District
Judge
Ann
Donnelly
imposed
the
sentence
after
hearing
from
several
survivors
who
attested
to
how
Kelly’s
exploitation
reverberated
across
their
lives.
“You
made
me
do
things
that
broke
my
spirit.
I
literally
wished
I
would
die
because
of
how
low
you
made
me
feel,”
said
one
unnamed
survivor,
directly
addressing
a
Kelly
who
kept
his
hands
folded
and
his
eyes
downcast.

“Do
you
remember
that?”
Kelly
did
not
address
the
court.
The
sentence
caps
a
slow-motion
fall
for
Kelly,
who
was
adored
by
legions
of
fans
and
sold
millions
of
albums
even
after
allegations
about
his
abuse
of
young
girls
began
circulating
publicly
in
the
1990s.
Widespread
outrage
over
Kelly’s
sexual
misconduct
didn’t
come
until
the
#MeToo
reckoning,
reaching
a
crescendo
after
the
release
of
the
docuseries
“Surviving
R.
Kelly.”

Kelly’s
lawyers
had
argued
he
should
get
no
more
than
10
years
in
prison
because
he
had
a
traumatic
childhood
“involving
severe,
prolonged
childhood
sexual
abuse,
poverty,
and
violence.”
As
an
adult
with
“literacy
deficiencies,”
the
star
was
“repeatedly
defrauded
and
financially
abused,
often
by
the
people
he
paid
to
protect
him,”
his
lawyers
said.
The
hitmaker
is
known
for
work
including
the
1996
hit
“I
Believe
I
Can
Fly”
and
the
cult
classic
“Trapped
in
the
Closet,”
a
multi-part
tale
of
sexual
betrayal
and
intrigue.
Allegations
that

Kelly
abused
young
girls
began
circulating
publicly
in
the
1990s.
He
was
sued
in
1997
by
a
woman
who
alleged
sexual
battery
and
sexual
harassment
while
she
was
a
minor,
and
he
later
faced
criminal
child
pornography
charges
related
to
a
different
girl
in
Chicago.
A
jury
there
acquitted
him
in
2008,
and
he
settled
the
lawsuit.
All
the
while,
Kelly
continued
to
sell
millions
of
albums.
The
Brooklyn
federal
court
jury
convicted
him
after
hearing
that
he
used
his
entourage
of
managers
and
aides
to
meet
girls
and
keep
them
obedient,
an
operation
that
prosecutors
said
amounted
to
a
criminal
enterprise.

r kelly

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Kelly,
born
Robert
Sylvester
Kelly,
used
his
“fame,
money
and
popularity”
to
systematically
“prey
upon
children
and
young
women
for
his
own
sexual
gratification,”
prosecutors
wrote
in
a
court
filing
earlier
this
month.
Several
accusers
testified
that
Kelly
subjected
them
to
perverse
and
sadistic
whims
when
they
were
underage.
The
accusers
alleged
they
were
ordered
to
sign
nondisclosure
forms
and
were
subjected
to
threats
and
punishments
such
as
violent
spankings
if
they
broke
what
one
referred
to
as
“Rob’s
rules.”
Some
said
they
believed
the
videotapes
he
shot
of
them
having
sex
would
be
used
against
them
if
they
exposed
what
was
happening.

According
to
testimony,
Kelly
gave
several
accusers
herpes
without
disclosing
he
had
an
STD,
coerced
a
teenage
boy
to
join
him
for
sex
with
a
naked
girl
who
emerged
from
underneath
a
boxing
ring
in
his
garage,
and
shot
a
shaming
video
that
showed
one
victim
smearing
feces
on
her
face
as
punishment
for
breaking
his
rules.
Kelly
has
denied
any
wrongdoing.

He
didn’t
testify
at
his
trial,
but
his
then-lawyers
portrayed
his
accusers
as
girlfriends
and
groupies
who
weren’t
forced
to
do
anything
against
their
will
and
stayed
with
him
because
they
enjoyed
the
perks
of
his
lifestyle.
Evidence
also
was
presented
about
a
fraudulent
marriage
scheme
hatched
to
protect
Kelly
after
he
feared
he
had
impregnated
R&B
phenom
Aaliyah
in
1994
when
she
was
just
15.

Witnesses
said
they
were
married
in
matching
jogging
suits
using
a
license
falsely
listing
her
age
as
18;
he
was
27
at
the
time.
Aaliyah
worked
with
Kelly,
who
wrote
and
produced
her
1994
debut
album,
“Age
Ain’t
Nothing
But
A
Number.”
She
died
in
a
plane
crash
in
2001
at
age
22.

An
earlier
defense
memo
suggested
prosecutors’ arguments
for
a
higher
sentence
overreached
by
falsely
claiming
Kelly
participated
in
the
paying
of
a
bribe
to
a
government
official
in
order
to
facilitate
the
illegal
marriage.
The
Associated
Press
does
not
name
people
who
say
they
have
been
sexually
assaulted
or
abused,
unless
they
come
forward
publicly.

The
women
who
spoke
at
Kelly’s
sentencing
were
identified
only
by
first
names
or
pseudonyms.
Kelly
has
been
jailed
without
bail
since
in
2019.
He’s
still
facing
child
pornography
and
obstruction
of
justice
charges
in
Chicago,
where
a
trial
is
scheduled
to
begin
Aug.
15.


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women
in
distress
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RAHI
Recovering
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Healing
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Incest.
A
support
centre
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survivors
of
child
sexual
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