R. Kelly Sentenced To 30 Years In Prison For Sex Trafficking And Racketeering
R. Kelly was just slammed with a 30-year prison sentence on Wednesday, June 29. As some of you may remember, he was convicted in federal court on racketeering and sex-trafficking charges back in September of 2021.
The 55-year-old singer-songwriter was charged with one count of racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits the transport of “any woman or girl” across state lines for any “immoral purpose”.
Prosecutors who worked on the case were asking the judge for a sentence of at least 25 years, so it looks like they got their wish. His defense team was asking for 10 years or less. He could have gotten life, so perhaps it’s a small victory? Although, at 55-years-old, if he does serve all 30 years, he might die in prison anyway.
Survivors of Kelly’s abuse held hands and prayed as US District Court Judge Ann Donnelly began reading his sentence. Kelly — who wore a tan prison uniform, dark-rimmed glasses and a black mask at the hearing in federal court in Brooklyn — showed no emotion.
According to the prosecutors, they wanted R. Kelly’s $140,000 fine (in addition to the prison sentence) to be higher because they claim he sold some of his music rights for $5 million during the trial last year. They say he secretly funneled the money through a childhood friend, so they believe he still has direct access to millions of dollars.
Jovante Cunningham, a former backup singer for Kelly, spoke outside the courtroom:
I started this journey 30 years ago. There wasn’t a day in my life up until this moment that I actually believed that the judicial system would come through for Black and brown girls. I stand here very proud of my judicial system, very proud of my fellow survivors and very pleased with the outcome.
If you’re wondering how R. Kelly feels about all this? Well, his attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, said that Kelly rejects the claim that he’s a monster.
He accepts that he is a flawed individual, but he is not this one-dimensional monster that the government has portrayed and the media has portrayed.
I don’t know, man. A flawed individual is like someone who always leaves the toilet roll empty, or who has a little road rage and flips off people on the highway, or maybe someone who cheats while playing Monopoly.
A simply “flawed individual” doesn’t usually participate in sex trafficking.