R Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison for sexual abuse, Internet says 'he ruined a lot of lives'
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK: Grammy-winning singer R Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Wednesday, June 29, for sexually abusing women and underage girls and boys over the course of several years. US District Judge Ann Donnelly issued the stiff after hearing statements from seven victims in Brooklyn federal court. Kelly did not react as the stiff was issued.
“With every addition of a new victim, you grew in wickedness,” said Jovante Cunningham, who had testified at Kelly's trial too, said. "You used your fame and power to groom and coach underage boys and girls for your own sexual gratification." “You made me do things that broke my spirit. I literally wished I would die because of how low you made me feel," another victim said. “Do you remember that?”
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Robert Sylvester Kelly was convicted on as many as nine charges, including racketeering and violating the Mann Act, which prevents interstate transportation of women and girls for “immoral purposes.” “I personally don’t think it’s enough, but I’m pleased with it,” Lizzette Martinez, who claimed she turned into a "sex slave" after meeting Kelly, said.
Prosecutors urged the judge for a sentence of more than 25 years. “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,” said Breon Peace, US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. “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.”
While handing down the sentence, Donnelly told Kelly, "These victims were disposable to you and you taught them that love is enslavement and violence and humiliation. This case is not about sex. It’s about violence and cruelty and control. These crimes were calculated and carefully planned and regularly executed for almost 25 years.”
Among the witnesses was Jerhonda Pace, who accused Kelly of pushing her to perform oral sex on him while she was still underage. Another witness testified that Kelly illegally married singer Aaliyah in 1994 because he was afraid she was pregnant when she was underage. Aaliyah later died in a 2001 plane crash.
Attorneys for Kelly asked for a sentence of 10 years and less, claiming he was raised in an abusive household and was sexually assaulted as a child. “[Kelly] has been portrayed by the government and the media as a one-dimensional villain, undeserving of any measure of humanity or dignity,” lawyer Jennifer Bonjean said. “This Court is charged with considering [Kelly’s] history and characteristics reveal that he is not an evil monster but a complex (unquestionably flawed) human-being who faced overwhelming challenges in childhood that shaped his adult life.”
Joycelyn Savage, Kelly’s fiancée, described their relationship as “amazing.” “The Robert I know is very sweet, gentle, and kind. At the end of the day, he has always made sure that I’m taken care of, and any other women he was with as well,” Savage wrote in her letter to the judge. “Robert and I are deeply in love and it breaks my heart that the government has created a narrative that I’m a victim.”
Prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo that kelly believed he was above the law. “Indeed, [Kelly’s] decades of crime appear to have been fueled by narcissism and a belief that his musical talent absolved him of any need to confirm his conduct – no matter how predatory, harmful, humiliating or abusive to others – to the structures of the law,” they wrote.
Social media believes Kelly's punishment is justified and that he deserved it completely. "R Kelly ruined a lot of lives so a 30yr sentence is completely justified," one user wrote on Twitter. "If you think R Kelly’s sentence is harsh, do yourself a favor and watch surviving R Kelly on Netflix. That monster deserves every single day of those 30 years in prison," wrote another.
R. Kelly ruined a lot of lives so a 30yr sentence is completely justified— madlib fan acct (@TheRealAntonioA) June 29, 2022
If you think R Kelly’s sentence is harsh, do yourself a favor and watch surviving R Kelly on Netflix. That monster deserves every single day of those 30 years in prison. #RKelly— 👑OGYAM👑 (@KwabenaGyam_) June 29, 2022
"I repeat, R'Kelly's sentence is not a harsh one. He deserves it. Sex trafficking dier there is no way he should have got away with it, " one user wrote, while another said, "R Kelly deserves every bit of that sentence." The adult Robert (not the a abused boy, or the musical genius known as R. Kelly), who refused to seek help, and take a accountability...he deserves this 30 year sentence!" one user wrote.
I repeat, R'Kelly's sentence is not a harsh one. He deserves it. Sex trafficking dier there is no way he should have got away with it.— Kennedy Twumasi (@kenny_twumasi) June 29, 2022
R Kelly deserves every bit of that sentence.— kitty (@_JetLiferCat) June 29, 2022
The adult Robert (not the a abused boy, or the musical genius known as R. Kelly), who refused to seek help, and take a accountability...he deserves this 30 year sentence!— Stefanie, The Life Architect (@StefanieTLA) June 29, 2022
Kelly's sentencing comes soon after British socialite turned convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison for her role in helping convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein abuse young girls. US District Judge Alison Nathan said the sentence of 240 months was “sufficient and not greater than necessary" for Maxwell. She has also been ordered to pay a $750,000 fine for her role in the crime.