The verdict is finally out.
Robert Sylvester Kelly, the multiplatinum R&B singer, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for exploiting his fame and wealth over the span of decades to lure women and underage girls under his “wings” for sex.
After nine months, the 55-year-old singer was found guilty for his racketeering and sexual crimes, after a trial that amplified had amplified the accusations that he has left in his disastrous wake over the decades.
Justice was late, but at least it arrived.
The Court Proceedings
The US District Judge in this case, Ann Donnelly, said that the evidence showed Kelly’s “indifference to human suffering” and “sheer brutality” towards his victims.
During the verdict, Judge Donnelly told him, “This case is not about sex. It’s about violence and cruelty and control. You left in your wake a trial of broken lives.”
For the record, over the years the #MeToo Movement has swelled and engulfed the Hollywood scene, R Kelly was one of the most prominent figures that was convicted of sexual misbehaviour.
Although he kept his silence during Wednesday’s hearing, he insistently denied the sexual abuse allegations.
After the 30-year jail term was declared, Jennifer Bonjean, his defence lawyer, told the media that Kelly was “devastated” by the sentence but he would appeal.
Bonjean stated that thirty years in prison would be akin to a life sentence for him.
Then what of his victims?
His abuse hangs like shackles around their necks, the trauma indelible and deeply embedded in their psyche.
Kelly will face the bars for thirty years, but his victims will remember what he did to them for the rest of their days; just who had been imprisoned for life?
Victim Impact Statements
The accusers who stepped forward to testify against Kelly sung a similar tune of control and abuse: they told the judge how Kelly promised to mentor them and help them rise to fame, only to lash out at them with degrading sexual treatment and physical harm.
Many have claimed that the abuse they had sustained has led to mental health issues that continue to persist.
To protect the identities of the victims, most of their names have been changed or redacted in the documents.
Jane Doe No.2 recounted that when she was just a teenager, she didn’t know how to say “No” to R Kelly when he asked her to perform oral sex on him.
She paused, then looked at Kelly and asked, “Do you remember that?”
Kelly was wearing a black face mask and beige prison clothing at the hearing.
Over the five-and-a-half-week trial, the court heard how R Kelly would order his victim to obey his rules strictly.
These included getting his permission to go to the bathroom, to address him as “Daddy” and having to write “apology letters” that were supposed to absolve Kelly of his wrongdoings.
R Kelly sounds like he got mad issues, just from these demands alone.
Another of his alleged victims is the singer, Aaliyah, whom the prosecutor said that R Kelly fraudulently married when the teenager was just 15.
Apparently, Kelly had married her in 1994 in fear that he had impregnated her. Witnesses said that they were married in matching jogging suits using a licence that listed her age as 18. Kelly was 27 years old then.
Aaliyah passed away in 2001 due to an aviation accident.
The top federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, Breon Peace, told reporters that this was a “significant outcome” for all the victims that have suffered under R Kelly, especially for the survivor who bravely testified about the “horrific and sadistic abuse” they suffered at his hands.
No Remorse From The Guilty
Robert Sylvester Kelly—never trust someone with three first names—was convicted on nine criminal charges: one count for racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits the transporting of people across state lines for prostitution.
Prosecutors urged for a prison sentence of more than 35 years, arguing that Kelly has displayed a “callous disregard” for his victim and has shown no remorse for his actions.
Evidently, they succeeded in convincing the District Judge of their case.
One of the accusers who spoke out in court, Lizzette Martinez, remarked that she never thought that she would witness Kelly being held accountable for the atrocities he had done to children.
Meanwhile, Kelly’s defence lawyers sought for a lighter sentence, claiming that he should have to serve no more than 10 years, which is the mandatory minimum, in consideration of the abuse he suffered during his childhood which led to his “hypersexuality” in his later years, and that he no longer posed a threat.
Kelly has been imprisoned since July 2019.
It is more than likely that he will be transported to a Chicago prison, where he faces another federal trial in August for child pornography and obstruction charges.
He is also liable to charges pressed by the states of Illinois and Minnesota.
To be a wanted man by four different states…
Truly, the amount of psychological damage he has caused runs deep.
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