Long prison sentence for ex-music star R. Kelly
Guilty on all charges – that was decided by a jury last year in the abuse trial against R. Kelly. Now the sentence against the former pop superstar has been announced: R. Kelly has to go to prison for 30 years.
The former pop superstar R. Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years in prison in an abuse trial. This was announced by Judge Ann Donnelly at a court in New York. A jury found the musician guilty on all nine charges, including sexual exploitation of minors, kidnapping and bribery, last year after a trial lasting several weeks. Kelly had always denied the allegations. Women testify again Before Judge Donnelly announced the sentence, seven of Kelly’s victims told their stories one after the other, sometimes in tears. The women recounted the sexual, physical and mental abuse they experienced at the hands of Kelly — in part when they were minors. “Robert, you destroyed so many people,” said one woman. “You’re an abuser, you’re shameless, you’re gross and you’re self-righteous,” another woman accused the singer. Another said she didn’t care about Kelly’s remorse because she could see he wasn’t showing any. The women also reported that they had been attacked online by fans of the singer who didn’t believe them. Musician bankrupt, according to the defense, prosecutors had previously demanded more than 25 years in prison and a fine of between $50,000 and $250,000 for the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer, who has been in prison since his arrest in the summer of 2019. Such a punishment is appropriate, among other things, because of the seriousness of his crimes, and Kelly is still a danger, it said. The musician’s lawyers had demanded a significantly lower sentence. Before the sentence was announced, there were also renewed discussions in court about the musician’s financial situation. While the prosecution claimed that Kelly was entitled to millions from rights sales, the musician’s defense rejected this and stated that he was practically bankrupt. “His music is no longer played,” said attorney Jennifer Bonjean. “We see it in his royalties, since the process they have decreased extremely.”MeToo movement welcomes verdictThe process is – after cases like those of film producer Harvey Weinstein and comedian Bill Cosby – another much-noticed legal review of the MeToo era. Representatives of the MeToo movement welcomed the verdict.
The ex-superstar was “the worst” of the many sex offenders she’s followed in her career, said women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred, who represented several plaintiffs in the case. He used his celebrity to abuse, intimidate and humiliate minors. The first allegations against the musician, born Robert Sylvester Kelly in Chicago in 1967, became known around 25 years ago. In 2008 he was tried for possession of images of serious sexual abuse of children – and was acquitted. With more than 50 million albums sold, several Grammys and other awards, R. Kelly was one of the most successful musicians of the late 20th century. But at the latest when the sensational documentary “Surviving R. Kelly” summarized the allegations in 2019, the singer became quieter. Stars distanced themselves from him, as well as radio stations, streaming services and then his music label RCA, which belongs to Sony Music. Accusations in other US states as well With the sentencing in New York, the legal disputes for Kelly are not over yet: Also in the Charges have been filed against the musician in the US states of Illinois and Minnesota. A trial in Chicago is scheduled to begin in mid-August.