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US Says Convicted R&B Singer R. Kelly Deserves 25+ Years in Prison


US prosecutors said on Wednesday that multi-platinum R&B singer R Kelly deserves to spend more than 25 years in prison after being convicted of sex trafficking.

In a case filed in federal court in Brooklyn, prosecutors said Kelly exploited his fame and wealth for a quarter of a century to lure women and underage girls for sex, showing “ruthless disregard” for his victims and showing no remorse.
“Indeed, the accused’s decades of crime appear to have been fueled by narcissism and the belief that his musical talent absolved him of any need to conform his conduct – however predatory, harmful, humiliating or abusive towards others – to restrictions of the law,” prosecutors said.

Kelly, 55, who has been jailed since 2019, remains a “serious danger” to the public, warranting keeping him behind bars until he is over 70, prosecutors added.

Jennifer Bonjean, Kelly’s lawyer, said he is expected to spend less than 14 years in prison and will explain in a filing next Monday why his “history and characteristics” warrant a shorter sentence.

Bonjean’s office declined to comment.

Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, faces a minimum sentence of 10 years when sentenced on June 29.
He is among the most prominent people convicted of sexual misconduct during the #MeToo movement against such conduct by prominent men.

Kelly’s 5 1/2 week trial amplified the charges that had dogged him since the early 2000s.

Testimony from 45 government witnesses, including several of Kelly’s abuse victims, portrayed in often graphic detail an unseemly side to a music career highlighted by the award-winning hit ‘I Believe I Can Fly’. a Grammy in 1996.

RECIDIVIST

Witnesses said Kelly would demand that his victims strictly obey rules such as needing his permission to eat or use the bathroom, calling him “dad” and writing “apology letters” meant to absolve him of wrongdoing.

“Defendant severely physically and psychologically scarred all of his victims repeatedly and consistently,” prosecutors said. “The government has no doubt that if given the opportunity to reoffend, the defendant would.”

Much of the case revolved around charges related to six women.

Among them was singer Aaliyah, whom prosecutors say Kelly fraudulently married when she was 15 to cover up abuse when she was 12 or 13. Aaliyah died in 2001.

Jurors needed just over a day to convict Kelly on September 27 on the nine counts he faced.

The charges included racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits transporting people across state lines for prostitution.

Many of Kelly’s accusers were black, differentiating his conviction from those of comedian Bill Cosby and film producer Harvey Weinstein since starting #MeToo in 2017. Cosby’s conviction was overturned last June.

Kelly has repeatedly denied the sexual abuse charges. He also faces federal charges in Chicago for child pornography and obstruction, and state charges in Illinois and Minnesota.

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Post expires at 3:48am on Sunday June 19th, 2022

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