Singer R. Kelly appears during a hearing in Chicago in 2019. Photo: Getty Image
R&B superstar R. Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years in prison, months after he was convicted on all nine counts of charges against him in a high-profile sex trafficking case.
U.S. District Court Judge Ann Donnelly handed down the sentence in a Brooklyn courtroom after several of Kelly’s victims angrily addressed the convicted sex offender at the hearing.
Donnelly minced no words as she threw the book at the once-beloved performer.
“You were a person who had great advantages — worldwide fame and celebrity and untold money,” she said. “You took advantage of their hopes and dreams, holding teenagers in your house trapped. You were at the top of your organization and you raped and beat them, separated them from their families and forced them to do unspeakable things.”
Victims who addressed the court on Wednesday said they barely had any will to live during their time under Kelly’s control.
“You degraded me, humiliated me and broke my spirit,” said a woman, who went by Jane Doe No. 2. “I wished I would die because of how you degraded me.”
The victim recalled an incident when she was forced to perform oral sex on the music star “after you played basketball, in a car full of your friends.”
“Do you remember that?!” she scolded Kelly, wearing olive-colored prison scrubs over a long-sleeve white shirt and a black mask.
“You couldn’t care less. I avoided your name and your songs and suffocated with fear. What you did left a permanent stain on my life.”
The victim stopped speaking momentarily when she saw Kelly speaking to one of his attorneys and sarcastically apologized: “I’m sorry, I don’t want to interrupt your conversation.”
“You are an abuser, shameless, disgusting,” she added. “I hope you go to jail for the rest of your life. I feel sorry for you.”
Kelly, 55, was convicted in September of racketeering and violating the Mann Act, the law that bans transporting people across state lines “for any immoral purpose.”
The sentence was more than the 25 years federal prosecutors had sought in a letter to Donnelly earlier this month. Jane Doe No. 1 cried as she addressed the court and said she spent years believing Kelly would never face justice.