American R&B Superstar Robert Sylvester Kelly AKA R. Kelly has been sentenced to a 30 year jail term for sex trafficking and racketeering in a Brooklyn Federal Court, New York.
The singer who is 55 years old has been held in a Brooklyn jail since his arrest in 2019.
R. Kelly had a strings of hits in the 1990s into the early and mid 2000s, winning 3 Grammy awards for his exploits. At the height of his career, the multi platinum selling singer was considered by many to be the King of R&B.
In sentencing the disgraced singer to jail, presiding Judge Ann M. Donnelly had gone against the recommended jail term of 25 years by the prosecution attorney and 10 year jail term by the defence lawyer and instead imposed an unprecedented 30 year jail term.
‘These crimes were calculated and carefully planned and regularly executed for almost 25 years,’ she said. ‘You taught them that love is enslavement and violence.’ The judge said.
Kelly was also ordered by the court to pay a $100,000 fine.
Earlier in the sentencing, several of his victims mounted the podium in tears, as they recalled and described the abuses and how it affected their lives.
When asked to speak for himself, the singer opted not to give any statement. It was later explained by his attorney that the singer has other pending sexual assault cases in Chicago and Minnesota and making a statement at the moment would hurt his defence when the cases commence.
Allegations of sexual assaults involving minors have dogged Kelly’s career ever since it was revealed he had eloped in 1994 with then 15 year old Aaliyah while he was 27 to a Cook County courtroom where they got married. The marriage was annulled a year later.
He would be 85 years old upon release if he serves a full term.