Crime & Justice

R. Kelly sentenced to 20 years for sexually abusing minors

Los Angeles, Feb 23 (EFE).- Singer R. Kelly, already serving 30 years in prison for sex trafficking, was sentenced Thursday in Chicago to an additional 20 years for producing child pornography and for enticing minors into criminal sexual activity.

But United States District Judge Harry Leinenweber ruled that Robert Sylvester Kelly, 56, can serve 19 of the additional years concurrently with the 30-year term, meaning that he will spend a total of 31 years behind bars.

At the same time, Leinenweber’s sentence means that Kelly will remain locked up even if his lawyers succeed in their efforts to overturn the erstwhile King of R&B’s 2021 conviction in New York for sex trafficking and racketeering.

While federal prosecutors had sought 25 years in the Chicago case, US Attorney John Lausch said afterward that the 20-year sentence is still “impactful.”

The federal jury in Chicago found Kelly guilty of abusing three adolescents more than two decades ago.

The accusers – two now 38 and the third, 42 – were identified ion court as Jane, Pauline and Nia, respectively. Leinenweber heard from the three women during Thursday’s hearing.

Jane was just 14 the first time Kelly sexually abused her on camera and one of those videos became public in the early 2000s.

In a statement read by her attorney, Christopher Brown, Jane said that Kelly robbed her of her dreams and her dignity and reminded the court that “millions of people” have seen the video in which the singer urinated on her.

“I will forever be the girl that Robert Kelly pissed on,” she said.

During a five-week trial in New York in 2020, nearly a dozen witnesses testified that they had been victims of sex crimes at the hands of the singer, while dozens of others detailed a continuous pattern of abuse.

Witnesses described a charismatic celebrity who would frequently target young girls who attended his concerts and sometimes sexually assaulted them backstage minutes after the shows.

Some of his former girlfriends testified that Kelly beat them, forced them to call him “daddy” and told them what to wear and when they could use the bathroom or eat.

The witnesses also said Kelly used his entourage to help him recruit young girls and isolate and intimidate them.

Kelly continues to proclaim his innocence. EFE gac/dr

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