Former R&B singer R. Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years in prison after being convicted of sexually abusing women, girls and even boys. His conviction came 20 years after the first allegation arose.
After handing down the sentence the judge said Kelly, now 55 years old, had an attitude of “indifference to human suffering.” Kelly’s lawyers have already stated their intention to appeal the verdict.
Ahead of his sentencing, several women took the stand to anonymously confront Kelly. A woman, only identified as Angela, called Kelly “the pied piper of R&B” who “grew in wickedness, cockiness, diminishing any form of humanity or self-awareness, which soon became the breeding ground for your God-like complex.”
“I literally wished I would die because of how you made me feel,” said another victim.
Jovante Cunningham, who was once a former backup singer for Kelly, spoke of her relief at the sentence. “I started this journey 30 years ago,” Cunningham said outside the court after the hearing. “There wasn’t a day in my life up until this moment that I actually believed that the judicial system would come through for Black and brown girls. I stand here very proud of my judicial system, very proud of my fellow survivors and very pleased with the outcome.”
Jane Doe 2, also testified at the trial. “It’s been 23 years since we knew each other, and you’ve victimized a lot of girls since then,” she told Kelly. “Now it’s your turn to have your freedom taken from you.”
Attorney Gloria Allred, who represented three of the victims who testified, said outside the court: “No one can undo the harm that has been done to these victims but at least it’s time for Mr. Kelly to be accountable.”
Kelly himself declined to make a statement and showed no emotion upon hearing of his sentence. However, his lawyer Jennifer Bonjean did say on Kelly’s behalf that her client “rejects that he is this monster.” She added, “He accepts that he is a flawed individual” but she said “he is not this one-dimensional monster that the government has portrayed, and the media has portrayed.”
As reported by The New York Times, US District Judge Ann Donnelly said Kelly had used sex as a weapon, forcing his victims to do unspeakable things and in many cases, passing on sexually transmitted infections to them.
Kelly is currently being held at a federal detention facility in Brooklyn and is likely going to be moved back to Chicago, where he faces another federal trial scheduled for August 15th on child pornography and obstruction charges.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: PREMIUMTIMESNG.COM
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