According to numerous news sources, an Illinois federal judge sentenced disgraced R&B singer/songwriter and convicted sex offender R. Kelly to 20 years in prison on Thursday on charges of child pornography and enticing children for sex.
According to the Associated Press, CNN, and NBC News, Kelly, whose actual name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, is already serving a 30-year sentence in jail for his 2021 conviction on charges of racketeering and sex trafficking based out of New York.
The 56-year-old musician was sentenced to 20 years in prison, with 19 of those years to be served concurrently with the other sentence, according to U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber. Only after the New York term would one year be done. Kelly will therefore serve a total of 31 years in prison.
According to NBC News, federal prosecutors in the Illinois case requested that Judge Leinenweber sentenced Kelly to 25 years in prison on the grounds that he was a “serial sexual predator” who “poses a substantial danger to society.” “Sentencing should be sufficient but not larger than necessary,” the judge reportedly responded.
According to court documents submitted by Kelly’s defense team, there is “no reason to suppose” the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer would commit another crime as a geriatric in his mid-80s if he were to serve out his 30-year prison term.
Two of the Grammy-winner’s victims gave statements in court this week, both of whom asked the judge to write a harsh sentence.
“Now you are here … because there is something wrong with you,” a victim who goes by the name “Nia,” said, per the AP. “No longer will you be able to harm children?”
His videotaping of minor girls being sexually abused led to his conviction and subsequent punishment this week in the child sex abuse case, according to the AP. The musician, who had previously been cleared of child pornography charges in 2008, has been the subject of claims for many years, According to PEOPLE.
In an indictment released following Kelly’s arrest in 2019, prosecutors claimed that Kelly and his group, which also included managers, bodyguards, and assistants, had traveled “all over the United States and abroad to perform at concert venues… and to recruit women and girls to engage in illegal sexual activity with Kelly” as early as 1999. Kelly is still detained at the Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Facility.
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