R Kelly (55) was sentenced to 30 years in prison in New York yesterday. After years of allegations of sex with underage girls, the singer was found guilty last year of human trafficking, extortion, possessing child pornography and leading a decades-long plan to recruit women and underage girls to sexually abuse them.
According to the prosecutor, R. Kelly used his fame to bring in and blackmail vulnerable girls. He has been called a predator and “a man who used lies, manipulation, threats and physical violence to dominate his victims and evade responsibility for years.” He has been in jail since 2019.
R Kelly did not respond during the hearing. He still denies all charges and is likely to appeal.
BREAKING: R&B singer R. Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for using his superstardom to subject young fans — some just children — to systematic sexual abuse. https://t.co/63L9C6w8xq
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 29, 2022
Women have been making accusations about R. Kelly’s abuse and misconduct since the 1990s, even if they didn’t always feel believed. This was covered extensively in the documentary Surviving R Kelly, which came out in 2019. Several victims shared their experiences during the trial. For example, they told how they thought they would be helped by the singer with their music career, but in the end, had to have sex with him and adhere to all kinds of strict rules.
“You made me do things that broke my soul,” one of them told R. Kelly in court yesterday. “I literally wanted to die because of how low you made me feel.” You can read an overview of all parts of the lawsuit here.
After more than 25 years of stories, rumours and accusations, R. Kelly has now been sentenced for the first time. There are two other lawsuits pending against him, in Illinois and Minnesota. He will also appear in court there.
Catch up on more stories here
Follow us on Facebook here