US music star, R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years for sex trafficking and racketeering

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The US disgraced R&B superstar, R. Kelly, was sentenced Wednesday to 30 years in prison, months after he was convicted on all nine counts 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.

“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 said. “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 25 years federal prosecutors had sought in a letter to Donnelly earlier this month.

In the memo and during the trial, prosecutors argued that Kelly relied on his fame, money and popularity — and a network of people who surrounded him — to carry out his crimes.

R. Kelly, the disgraced R&B superstar, was sentenced Wednesday to 30 years in prison, months after he was convicted on all nine counts 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.

“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 said. “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 25 years federal prosecutors had sought in a letter to Donnelly earlier this month.

In the memo and during the trial, prosecutors argued that Kelly relied on his fame, money and popularity — and a network of people who surrounded him — to carry out his crimes.

Kelly’s attorneys argued in a separate memo that a sentence of more than 10 years would be “greater than necessary.”

During the trial, which centered on the allegations of six people, prosecutors said Kelly was a serial sexual predator who abused young women, as well as underage girls and boys, for more than two decades.

Prosecutors alleged that he and his entourage led a criminal enterprise that recruited and groomed victims for sex, arranging for them to travel to concerts and events across the U.S.

Kelly was also accused of confining victims in hotel rooms or his recording studio, managing when they could eat and use the bathroom and forcing them to follow various “rules,” including demanding that they call him “Daddy.”

NBC News and Forbes

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