Listen to this article here
The “I Believe I can Fly” R&B superstar had his wings officially clipped on Wednesday during a court hearing in New York after U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly sentenced him to 30 years over federal sex trafficking charges.
While prosecutors recommended 25 years for his years-long sexual abuse of women, some of whom were underage, Kelly’s defense sought just 10 years.
“You made me do things that broke my spirit. I literally wished I would die because of how low you made me feel,” an unnamed survivor, who directly addressed R. Kelly said in court. Kelly kept his eyes down. “Do you remember that?” she added.
R Kelly did not address the court before Judge Donnelly imposed her sentence, which includes an additional five years of supervised released and a $100,000 fine.
R. Kelly sentenced for federal sex trafficking
Convicted at age 55 in 2021, R. Kelly’s behavior received new scrutiny after the release of a docu-series in 2019 called “Surviving R. Kelly,” in which accusers spoke about their experiences. Some have accused Kelly of making them sign nondisclosure forms and threatened to release videos of sexual acts if they didn’t comply.
According to court documents, one woman was even abused in a “shaming video” in which Kelly made her smear feces on her face for disobeying him.
According to the Associated Press,
“Kelly’s lawyers had argued he should get no more than 10 years in prison because he had a traumatic childhood “involving severe, prolonged childhood sexual abuse, poverty, and violence.”
Yet, after hearing how Kelly used his managers and aides to coerce women into obeying him, the Judge wasn’t moved.
The sentence ends a long saga of revelations about the man often described as the “King of R&B,” a man who faked a marriage with Aaliyah after he feared he’d gotten the then 15 year old R&B sensation pregnant when he was 27.
Kelly wrote and produced Aaliyah’s 1994 debut album, “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number.” She died in a plane crash in 2001 at age 22.
R. Kelly has been jailed without bail since 2019 and still faces pornography and obstruction of justice charges in Chicago. That trial is scheduled for Aug. 15.