R Kelly gets 30 years for sexually abusing fans

30 Jun, 2022 - 00:06 0 Views
R Kelly gets 30 years for sexually abusing fans R Kelly

The Herald

NEW YORK. —  American R&B star R  Kelly was yesterday sentenced to 30 years in prison  for using his superstardom to subject young fans — some just children — to systematic sexual abuse.

The singer and songwriter, 55, was convicted of racketeering and sex trafficking last year at a trial that gave voice to accusers who had once wondered if their stories were being ignored because they were Black women.

US district Judge Ann Donnelly imposed the sentence after hearing from several survivors who attested to how Kelly’s exploitation reverberated across their lives.

“You made me do things that broke my spirit. I literally wished I would die because of how low you made me feel,” said one unnamed survivor, directly addressing a Kelly who kept his hands folded and his eyes downcast. “Do you remember that?”

Kelly did not address the court and was also ordered to pay a US$100 000 fine

The sentence capped a slow-motion fall for Kelly, who was adored by legions of fans and sold millions of albums even after allegations about his abuse of young girls began circulating publicly in the 1990s.

Widespread outrage over Kelly’s sexual misconduct didn’t come until the #MeToo reckoning, reaching a crescendo after the release of the docuseries “Surviving R Kelly.”

Kelly’s lawyers had argued he should get no more than 10 years in prison because he had a traumatic childhood “involving severe, prolonged childhood sexual abuse, poverty, and violence.”

As an adult with “literacy deficiencies,” the star was “repeatedly defrauded and financially abused, often by the people he paid to protect him,” his lawyers said.

The hitmaker is known for work including the 1996 hit “I Believe I Can Fly”. Allegations that Kelly abused young girls began circulating publicly in the 1990s. ‑ AP

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