In September 2021, R&B singer R. Kelly was found guilty of multiple federal charges including racketeering and sex trafficking. The jury who found the singer guilty was made up of seven men and five women.
Nine months later, R. Kelly learned his fate in court at his sentencing hearing that took place on June 29. As several reports reveal, the R&B singer was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Disgraced Singer R. Kelly Learns His Fate As He Is Sentenced for His Sex Crimes
During the 3-hour hearing, Kelly did not address the court, The Wall Street Journal reports. Kelly appeared to have no reaction after receiving the sentence.
In victim statements made by some of his victims, one woman 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,” the woman asked, Billboard reports.
Another woman said Kelly’s conviction restored her faith after losing hope.
As Mamas Uncut previously reported at the time of the trial last year, the Brooklyn, New York jury began deliberating after the nearly five-week trial on Friday, September 24. They returned with their verdict three days later on September 27.
This trial was unprecedented in that other than the jury, no other members of the public were allowed in the courtroom. Members of the media and others were put into a separate courtroom where it is believed that they observed the trial on screen.
As CNN reported, this is so that the jurors could be shown “key audio and video evidence” that the public could not see. US District Judge Ann Donnelly described these recordings in court as “somewhat upsetting.” The jurors’ reaction to this particular evidence was also shielded from the public.
The trial included 45 prosecution witnesses, which included victims who were only identified as “Jane Does.” Other witnesses included those who were present during R. Kelly’s marriage to singer Aaliyah.
Although Aaliyah passed away in 2001, she married Kelly on August 31, 1994. Kelly was 27, Aaliyah was just 15. The couple lied about her age, claiming she was 18 on the marriage license.
The minister who married them and Kelly’s tour manager who admitted to paying off the woman who created a fake welfare ID were also among the witnesses. Victims, who agreed to come forward, shared their stories as well.
According to CNN, one of the victims identified as Stephanie said she met Kelly when she was 17 and he invited her into his studio. “I remember him asking me my age,” Stephanie testified. “When I said I was 17, he said it was fine.”
She went on to recall Kelly sexually abusing her in the studio and recording it. They met again on her 18th birthday after he paid to have her fly out to see him. “She described fearing his angry outbursts, saying he would yell at her in public places,” as a result, she stopped communicating with the R&B singer.
One victim, identified as Sonja, said R. Kelly locked her in a room while visiting him at his studio. He kept her there for days. She was only allowed out to use the bathroom and shower. “I was sexually assaulted,” Sonja testified. “There was something in me that wasn’t wanted.”
Kelly’s attorney says they are considering an appeal and that they are obviously disappointed with the verdict that was handed down. Thirteen years ago Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges in Illinois.
Kelly has always maintained his innocence.
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