Singer R. Kelly Sentenced To 30 Years In Prison For Sex Trafficking, Racketeering

Robert Sylvester Kelly, popularly known as R. Kelly, was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Wednesday following a conviction last year on federal racketeering and sex trafficking charges last year.

What happened: In September 2021, 55-year-old Kelly was convicted by a federal jury in Brooklyn for charges including sexual exploitation of children, forced labor, and the coercion and transportation of women to engage in illegal sexual activity, according to a statement from the Department of Justice.

“Today’s sentence is a victory which belongs to the survivors of Kelly’s abuse, said Homeland Security Investigations Executive Associate Director Steve Francis.

“These brave women and men came forward, despite threats to their own personal safety, and were forced to relive the pain of the most traumatic days of their lives to tell the truth and make their voices heard."

See Also: Ghislaine Maxwell Gets 20 Year Prison Sentence For Role In Sex Trafficking With Jeffrey Epstein

Why It Matters: The R&B artist is known for hits such as “I Believe I Can Fly” and “I’m Your Angel.”

In 2019, a documentary by Lifetime, part-owned by Walt Disney Co DIS,  dubbed “Surviving R. Kelly” was released. It detailed allegations of sexual abuse against the disgraced musical artist.  

Prosecutors had asked that Kelly be sentenced to more than 25 years in prison, while his defense attorneys asked for 10 or fewer, reported CNN.

Kelly reportedly replaced his legal team with one led by Jennifer Bonjean, who represented Bill Cosby and helped him overturn his sexual assault conviction.

Bonjean said the team was prepared for the sentence. “We are now prepared to fight this appeal,” said the lawyer, according to CNN.

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Photo via Jamie Lamor Thompson on Shutterstock

Posted In: Department of JusticeR. Kellysex traffickingEntertainmentNewsLegalTop StoriesGeneral

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