BY Mildred Europa Taylor, 4:42pm June 29, 2022,

Disgraced singer R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison

R. Kelly standing before a judge at Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago. E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune via AP

R&B singer R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison Wednesday after he was convicted last year on all nine counts against him in a high-profile sex trafficking case.

Prosecutors sought more than 25 years behind bars for the singer but his defense attorneys asked for 10 or less, saying prosecutors’ request was “tantamount to a life sentence”, CNN reported.

U.S. District Court Judge Ann Donnelly read the sentence in a Brooklyn courtroom after several of Kelly’s victims had addressed him at the hearing.

“You left in your wake a trail of broken lives,” Donnelly told Kelly. “These crimes were calculated and carefully planned, and regularly executed for almost 25 years. You taught them that love is enslavement and violence.”

Last September, a jury convicted the 55-year-old singer on all nine counts of sex trafficking and racketeering after less than two days of deliberations. “Today’s guilty verdict forever brands R. Kelly as a predator, who used his fame and fortune to prey on the young, the vulnerable, and the voiceless for his own sexual gratification,” Jacquelyn M. Kasulis, the Acting U.S. Attorney for the EDNY, said in a news release following the verdict at the time.

Kelly had been accused of grooming and sexually abusing women and underage girls. The charges included one count of racketeering and eight counts of illegally transporting people across state lines for the purpose of sex. Nine women and two men appeared in court to testify against the singer, claiming that he sexually abused them.

Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, denied all the charges against him. But prosecutors accused him of being a predator who used his fame and influence to attract fans into his circle, where he would demand them to either obey him or be punished. After six weeks, his sex-trafficking trial in New York came to a close last September.

It was reported at the time that the singer will face a “mandatory minimum” of 10 years behind bars and could face life in prison for crimes including violating the Mann Act, an anti-sex trafficking law that prohibits taking anyone across state lines “for any immoral purpose.”

The USAO-EDNY said in a release last year that Kelly had for almost three decades served as the “leader” of a “criminal enterprise” that also consisted of others including personal assistants, bodyguards and managers.

“As the leader of the Enterprise, Kelly used his fame to recruit women and girls to engage in illegal sexual activity with him,” the USAO-EDNY said.

Kelly is currently being held at the Metropolitan detention center in Brooklyn. Officials may move him back to Chicago, where he faces another federal trial in August on child pornography and obstruction of justice charges.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: June 29, 2022

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