Guilty on all counts: This is how a jury decided in the abuse trial against R. Kelly. Now the court in New York has announced the sentence against the former superstar – and that’s high.
He experienced an unparalleled high in the pop sky and now a total personal crash: the former soul star Robert “R.” Kelly faces 30 years in prison. A US federal court in New York sentenced him this Wednesday for serious sex offenses. This was announced by Judge Ann Donnelly. A jury found the musician guilty on all nine charges last year after a trial lasting several weeks – including sexual exploitation of minors, kidnapping, and bribery in the years 1994 to 2018.
According to the indictment, Kelly, who became famous with hits like “I Believe I Can Fly”, had built up a whole network of helpers in the USA to recruit young girls and women to satisfy his sexual desires. He is said to have locked up some of his victims and brutally abused them.
Prosecutors had demanded a minimum of 25 years in prison for Kelly, arguing that he continued to pose a “serious threat to the community.” His actions were “brazen, manipulative, controlling, and coercive,” prosecutors said. He also showed no remorse or respect for the law. Kelly’s lawyers had asked for a reduced sentence of up to 17 years.
Another verdict coming soon
The sentence was announced about a month before jury selection begins in Kelly’s next abuse trial, which is scheduled to begin in mid-August in federal court in Chicago. In addition, there are two other investigations against the musician.
The first allegations against the singer were made around 25 years ago. Kelly’s – later annulled – marriage to singer Aaliyah, who was only 15 at the time, also caused a stir. In 2008, Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges in a contentious trial; other cases were settled out of court.
The documentary series “Surviving R. Kelly”, released in 2019, finally led to a new investigation and the arrest of the star. Kelly, who appeared in court this Wednesday with black glasses, a black corona mask, and a khaki-colored top for the verdict, had always rejected the allegations.