Singer R. Kelly was sentenced in his New York trial today (June 29th). The 55-year-old was hit with a 30 year sentence after being convicted in his sex trafficking and racketeering case.
The penalty stems from his 2021 conviction, where the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer was found guilty of nine charges, including a racketeering count where 14 individual acts like bribery, kidnapping, and forced labor were bundled together.
“You used your fame and power to groom and coach underage boys and girls for your own sexual gratification. Today we reclaim our name. We are no longer the preyed-upon individuals we once were. I pray that God reaches your soul,” a victim named Angela told R. Kelly during the hearing today.
The state asked for more than 25 years because of his “long and pervasive history of enticing children to engage in sexual activity” and their request was granted.
The singer’s defense team, led by Jennifer Bonjean had requested the judge be lenient and only give Kelly the mandatory minimum of 10 years.
There are eleven alleged victims in this case. Nine women and two men testified in his case, with six saying they were minors when the abuse allegedly occurred.
Five of the women to whom the criminal charges were connected were able to testify. However, the sixth woman was not.
That would have been the late Aaliyah Houghton, the singer protegé that he married when she was 15 years old and he was 27.
The Forever Princess of R&B died in 2001, years after separating from the convicted predator and cultural Pied Piper.
R. Kelly, 55, did not take the stand during this trial. In August, the disgraced singer will face additional charges in a Chicago federal case for alleged child pornography and obstruction of justice.