R. Kelly is now expected to serve 30 years behind bars after his sentence was announced today in New York. The R&B legend would find himself in trouble after several women over the years would come forward to share their stories regarding abuse.
Chicago-born R&B superstar R. Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years in prison in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, punctuating a remarkable fall from grace after decades of sexual misconduct allegations.
R. Kelly declined to address the court before he was sentenced, and his defense called no witnesses on his behalf. He showed no emotion as Donnelly handed the sentence down. The judge spoke in soft tones that belied her excoriation of Kelly while giving him his punishment for what she called Kelly’s systematic and premeditated pattern of brutality.
While Kelly’s attorneys are likely to argue on appeal that the government overreached when it charged Kelly under the RICO act, which traditionally has been used for gangs and organized crime, Donnelly said she had no doubt Kelly was the head of an enterprise full of enablers.
Bonjean noted that Kelly is a product of an extraordinarily difficult childhood; he suffered extensive sexual abuse and grew up in a poor household where domestic violence and substance abuse were common.
The sentence came after several women, some soft-voiced and sobbing, others with blazing anger, stood in the courtroom Wednesday to speak about a seemingly endless pattern of trauma and abuse at the hands of Kelly.
The long-awaited hearing in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn that began Wednesday morning took place nine months after Kelly, 55, was convicted by a jury of racketeering conspiracy and eight other counts alleging he used his organization to lure and trap girls, boys and young women to satisfy his predatory desires.