R. Kelly sentenced to one more year in prison

R. Kelly will spend one more year in prison in addition to a 30-year racketeering sentence he is already serving, an Illinois federal judge ruled on Thursday. The disgraced singer was sentenced to 30 years in prison last year for sex trafficking and racketeering following a trial in New York.

He was subsequently convicted in a second federal trial in Chicago on charges relating to indecent images of children and child enticement, Sky News reported. The 56-year-old has currently been sentenced to 20 years in that case but 19 will be served at the same time as the New York sentence.

Federal prosecutors wanted U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber for the Northern District of Illinois to sentence the singer to 25 years in prison, arguing on Thursday that the musician was “a danger to society” whose “sexual abuse of minors was intentional and prolific,” NBC News reported. Kelly’s attorney Jennifer Bonjean asked for a 10-year sentence to be served alongside the New York sentence, NBC News said.

“No matter what I do Mr. Kelly is not going out the door in the next 10 years, in the next 20 years,” Judge Leinenweber said. “One of the things we should bear in mind, he is 56 years old and as Ms. Bonjean points out, he has a life expectancy of not a helluva lot more.”

The victim in the Chicago trial, known by the pseudonym “Jane”, testified during the trial that Kelly sexually abused her “hundreds” of times before she turned 18. Jurors watched videos of the abuse. Four other women also said Kelly abused them while they were children.


In June 2022, Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison after he was convicted in 2021 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.

In September 2021, a jury convicted the 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 in September 2021.

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.

Mildred Europa Taylor

Mildred Europa Taylor is a writer and content creator. She loves writing about health and women's issues in Africa and the African diaspora.

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