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Sunday, August 14, 2022

R in sex trafficking case Kelly sentenced to 30 years

by Tom Hayes and Bobby Cana Calvan

NEW YORK ( Associated Press) — Disgraced R&B superstar R Kelly was sentenced Wednesday to 30 years in prison for sexually abusing young fans, including some children, in a decades-long systematic scheme. Was sentenced to prison for using his fame.

Through tears and anger, several of Kelly’s accusers told a court and the singer himself that he misled and victimized them.

“You made me do things that broke my soul. I really wanted me to die because of how low you made me feel,” said an unnamed survivor, directly addressing Kelly, who folded her hands and kept her eyes low.

“do you remember that?” He asked.

Kelly, 55, made no statement and did not react to his sentencing hearing, which also included a $100,000 fine. He has denied wrongdoing, and he plans to appeal his conviction.

The Grammy-winning, multiplatinum-selling songwriter was found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking in a trial last year that gave voice to accusers who previously thought her stories were being ignored because they were black women. She was

“The victims have sought to be heard and acknowledged,” one of the victims said on their sentencing. “We are no longer the victims of the victimization that we once were.”

A third woman, speaking out crying and sniffling, said Kelly’s conviction renewed her faith in the legal system.

“I once lost hope,” he said, addressing the court and prosecutors, “but you have restored my faith.”

The woman said Kelly hunted her at the age of 17 after going to a concert.

“I was scared, naive and didn’t know how to handle the situation,” she said, so she didn’t speak at the time.

“Silence,” she said, “is a very secluded place.”

Kelly’s attorney, Jennifer Bonzen, said he was “devastated” by the sentence and saddened by what he heard.

“He is a human being. He feels what other people are feeling. But that doesn’t mean he can accept responsibility the way the government wants him and others want him to. Because He disagrees with the characterizations that have been created about him,” she said.

The sentence marks a slow decline for Kelly, best known for works including the 1996 hit “I Believe I Can Fly” and the cult classic “Trapped in the Closet”, a multifaceted tale of sexual betrayal and intrigue. Is.

She was still admired by adoring fans and sold millions of albums even after allegations of mistreatment of young girls were publicly circulated in the 1990s. He pleaded guilty to child pornography charges in Chicago in 2008, when a jury acquitted him.

Widespread outrage over Kelly’s sexual misconduct did not unfold until #MeToo counted, reaching a climax following the release of the documentary “Surviving Are Kelly”.

Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Brian Peace said on Wednesday, “I hope this conviction serves as your testimony that it doesn’t matter how powerful, rich or famous your abuser is, or how small they make you feel.” Let’s do it – justice hears only the truth.”

A Brooklyn federal court jury indicted the singer, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, after hearing that he used his crew of managers and aides to meet the girls and keep them obedient, an operation that prosecutors said. amount to a criminal enterprise.

Several accusers testified that Kelly subjected them to perverse and tragic whims when they were young.

The accusers alleged that they were ordered to sign non-disclosure forms and subjected to threats and punishments such as violent beatings if they were referred to as “Rob’s Law”.

Some said they believed the videotape they had shot would be used against them if they uncovered what was happening.

According to testimony, Kelly gave herpes to several accusers without disclosing she had an STD, forcing a teenage boy to have sex with a naked girl who came out from under a boxing ring in his garage, and shot an embarrassing video that showed a victim smearing. Stool on his face as punishment for breaking his rules.

US District Judge Ann Donnelly sentenced him, saying, “The horrors your victims have suffered.” “No price was too high to pay for your happiness.”

Evidence was also presented about a fraudulent marriage plan hatched to protect Kelly after she feared he had impregnated R&B phenom Aaliyah in 1994, when she was just 15 years old. Witnesses said they were married at age 18 in a jogging suit using an incorrectly listed license; He was 27 years old at that time.

Aaliyah worked with Kelly, who wrote and produced her debut album “Edge Ain’t Nothing But a Number” in 1994. He died in a plane crash in 2001 at the age of 22.

Kelly did not testify at her trial, but her then-lawyers portrayed her accusers as girlfriends and groupies who were not forced to do anything against their will and stayed with them because they changed their lifestyle. enjoyed the benefits.

His current lawyers argued that he should not have been imprisoned for more than 10 years because his childhood was painful “with severe, prolonged sexual abuse, associated with poverty and violence.”

As an adult with a “lack of literacy,” Starr was “repeatedly deceived and financially abused, often by people paid to protect her,” his lawyers said.

The Associated Press does not name people who say they have been sexually harassed or abused, unless they have come out in public. The women who spoke at Kelly’s sentence were identified by either first name or pseudonym only.

Kelly has been in jail without bail since 2019. He still faces charges of child pornography and obstruction of justice in Chicago, where a trial is set to begin on August 15.

“No matter how many hits he released, his legacy will be remembered not by his voice, but by the voices of the brave women and men who came forward to reveal to the world the demon that R. said Steve Francis of the federal Homeland Security investigation, which helped build the case.


Associated Press journalists Jennifer Peltz and Ted Schaffrey contributed to this report.

World Nation News Desk
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