According to a recent report by Yahoo! News, R&B star R. Kelly has been handed an additional 20-year prison sentence for a string of sexual abuse and exploitation crimes that he was convicted of back in September 2021. The sentencing was announced following his conviction on six out of 13 charges, including three counts of coercing minors into illegal sexual activity and three counts of producing child pornography.
The Grammy Award-winning singer, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, is already serving a 30-year prison sentence for his involvement in racketeering and sex trafficking.
“Likely to die in prison either way.”
Despite federal prosecutors asking for a 25-year sentence and Kelly’s lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, arguing that he is “likely to die in prison either way” and requesting a 10-year sentence, R&B singer R. Kelly has been handed a concurrent sentence of 19 years by U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber.
In a recent report by NBC News, it was revealed that the judge presiding over R&B singer R. Kelly’s latest sentencing expressed his belief that the sentence should be “sufficient but not greater than necessary.” The judge acknowledged the severity of the crimes committed by Kelly, stating that “everybody agrees that the nature of this offense is horrible, horrific.”
However, the judge also took into account Kelly’s age and life expectancy, with the singer being 56 years old and his lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, pointing out that he doesn’t have much time left. Despite this, Kelly’s victims submitted statements about the profound impact of his crimes on their lives, with one victim expressing that she has lost her “dignity” and “dreams.”
One woman expressed that the 56-year-old “completely damaged” her, while another revealed the extent of the trauma she experienced, stating that she required years of therapy and had “dark thoughts of suicide” as well as “dark thoughts about no one loving” her.
Despite the devastating impact of Kelly’s actions, his age has been used by some as a reason to avoid adding years to his sentence. In January 2023, Illinois District Attorney Kim Foxx decided to drop all state charges against Kelly, stating that “Mr. Kelly is looking at the possibility of never walking out of prison again.”
However, the decision to drop charges has been met with criticism, with some arguing that justice demands accountability, regardless of the offender’s age or life expectancy.