The fallen American R&B singer R. Kelly, who was found guilty in September 2021 in New York for sexual exploitation and abuse of minors, was sentenced on Wednesday to 30 years in prison for his crimes.
Robert Sylvester Kelly, also known as “R. Kelly," was facing charges of "illegal sex with minors, sexual exploitation of minors, bribery, coercion and forced labour. The Federal Court in Brooklyn on Wednesday evening sentenced the 55-year-old man to 30 years in prison.
“R. Kelly used his fame, fortune and enablers to prey on the young, the vulnerable and the voiceless for his own sexual gratification, while many turned a blind eye,” stated U.S. Attorney Breon Peace.
“Through his actions, Kelly exhibited a callous disregard for the devastation his crimes had on his victims and has shown no remorse for his conduct. With today’s sentence, he has finally and appropriately been held accountable for his decades of abuse, exploitation and degradation of teenagers and other vulnerable young people."
Nine months ago, in September 2021, following six weeks of trial, the Federal Court convicted him on nine counts after the veil was lifted on the fact he was the leader of a criminal enterprise (named the Enterprise) which organised the sexual exploitation of minors across state borders for nearly three decades.
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Kelly used his fame to recruit women and girls at his concerts with whom he would engage in illegal sexual activity. He would "dangle promises of fame, fortune and stardom for his own sexual gratification," Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Acting Executive Associate Director, Steve K. Francis, said.
Kelly and his accomplices also silenced his victims through bribery, intimidation, blackmail and physical violence, "confident they were immune to justice."