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R Kelly sentenced to 30 years in jail over sex trafficking

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Popular R&B singer, Robert Sylvester Kelly also known as R Kelly, has received a sentence of 30 years in prison following his numerous allegations of sex trafficking, abuse and racketeering.

The singer was sentenced to prison on Wednesday, June 29, for sexually abusing a series of boys, girls and women for over 20 years.

Kelly has been found guilt on nine counts of sex trafficking and racketeering in September 2021 by a jury in New York.

U.S district judge, Ann Donnelly, imposed the sentence at the federal court in Brooklyn on Wednesday.

At the trial, the victims had given accounts on the hardship they experienced at the hands of the ‘Storm is Over’ crooner. Some stated that the artiste subjected them to sexual slavery. They claimed that Kelly’s permission is often needed to use the restroom or obey certain rules.

Some victims had disclosed how the artiste had peed on them after sex because he objectimised them.

A victim on one of the trials said, “You made me do things that broke my spirit. I literally wished I would die because of how low you made me feel. Do you remember that?”

His ex-wife, Angela, who revealed she felt threatened when she was with her former husband, took to the stand to say, “On this day of sentencing, we reclaim our names… We are no longer the preyed-upon individuals we once were.”

He was charged with 21 counts of making child sexual abuse videos involving various sexual acts in June 2002, but was acquitted on all counts following trial in 2008.

Am article in Buzzfeed brought fresh allegations that Kelly had trapped six women in a sex “cult” having taken advantage of them after they approached him for help with their musical careers in 2017.

A six-part documentary titled Surviving R Kelly, detailing the allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct against the singer, aired on US TV network Lifetime in January 2020 where the victims in groups revealed their experiences.

During an interview with R Kelly by interviewer Gayle King, the singer had rudely denied the allegations.

He was arrested in July 2020 and charged with sex trafficking offences including child abuse images and obstruction of justice.

A sentencing memorandum filed by the federal prosecutors in the eastern district of New York, said, in part: “With the aid of his inner circle and over a period of decades, the defendant preyed upon children and young women for his own sexual gratification.

“In order to carry out his many crimes, the defendant relied upon his fame, money and popularity as an R&B recording star and used the large network of people his status afforded him – including his business managers, security guards and bouncers, runners, lawyers, accountants, and assistants – to both carry out and conceal his crimes.”

The prosecutor of the case had requested for a maximum number of 25 years for his crimes but his defence, who was the lawyer for Bill Cobsy, Jennifer Bonjean, had pleaded for 10 years in prison on claims that the singer also suffered from abuse and has been sexually traumatised hence his charges.

He has since been detained at the Metropolitan detention center in Brooklyn since the verdict last September. He faces more charges on the enticement of a minor, possession of child abuse images and obstruction of justice. Trial will be held in August in Chicago.

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