R. Kelly, a famous American singer, was given a 30-year jail sentence for abusing children and women
The R&B musician, R. Kelly, 55, was found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking offences in New York last September. He had been the target of long-running accusations, and the judge declared on Wednesday that he showed “indifference to human suffering.”
Robert Sylvester Kelly, the singer’s real name, says he will appeal, according to his attorneys. A few women took the witness stand to face Kelly prior to his punishment. A woman only known as Angela referred to the performer as a Pied Piper who “increased in evil” with each new victim, while other unnamed witnesses claimed he had crushed their spirits.
“I literally wished I would die because of how you made me feel,” said one.
Kelly, who wore jail khakis and thick glasses, chose not to offer his own statement.
According to US District Judge Ann Donnelly, the celebrity had used sex as a weapon, compelling some of his victims to engage in terrible behavior and burdening others with STDs. The court heard testimony about how Kelly, who is best known for the hit songs I Believe I Can Fly and Ignition, used his position to seduce women and children over the course of two decades.
At his six-week trial in Brooklyn, the Brooklyn jury heard testimony about how he trafficked women between various US states with the help of managers, security personnel, and other members of his entourage.
The court also learned how, in 1994, when Kelly was 15 years old and seven years before the singer Aaliyah died in a plane crash, she had gotten marriage licenses in violation of the law.
Aaliyah’s age was given as 18 on the certificate at the time it was leaked. A few months later, the marriage was dissolved. Former Kelly backup vocalist Jovante Cunningham claimed she never imagined this day would come. She told reporters, “There wasn’t a day in my life that I genuinely felt that the court system would come through for black and brown girls up until this moment.
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