30 Years: How Did R. Kelly Get More Jail Time Than Ghislaine Maxwell?

By Pamela Glass | Monday, 04 July 2022 05:15
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R Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years in jail for using his fame to sexually abuse young fans - after coming face to face with some of his victims as they faced him in court.

The disgraced singer was moved to listen as the survivors denounced his "despicable" actions and described him as "the pied piper of R&B" before the judge announced his lengthy jail term. Kelly pledged to mentor them and help them in the music industry, yet continued to subject them to staining and systemic abuse.

He was found guilty of racketeering and trafficking after a high-profile trial in New York in September 2021, which came after years of accusations during his career.

At his sentencing by US District Judge Ann Donnelly on Wednesday, the court heard impact statements from seven women, presented anonymously as "Jane Does", who stated the singer had a "God-like complex" and used "fame and power" to attract his victims.

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Dressed in a black face mask and grey prison-issue uniform, having been in custody since 2019, the 55-year-old looked straight ahead as the emotional statements were read out. He did not address the court himself.

"The pied piper of R&B, both in music and in technique and in approach," a woman using the pseudonym Angela announced as she addressed him in the courtroom. "Success and love... you presented these glittering gems as if they were gold.

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"With every addition of a new victim you grew in wickedness, cockiness, diminishing any form of humanity or self-awareness, which soon became the breeding ground for your God-like complex." "You were doing, saying, and encouraging despicable things that no one should be doing. We reclaim our names from beneath the shadows of your afflicted trauma."

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Another woman explained to Kelly: "You are an abuser, you are shameless, you are disgusting."

Many accusers and witnesses - men as well as women - had testified against the singer throughout his trial, with the court hearing how he subjected his victims to perverse and sadistic abuse when they were underage.

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Once one of the biggest music stars in the world, a three-time Grammy winner whose chart-topping hits include I Believe I Can Fly, Bump "N" Grind, and Ignition, the greatest horror of some of his crimes were eventually laid bare.

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Born Robert Sylvester Kelly, the singer has denied all the charges, his lawyers calling his accusers "disgruntled groupies" and stating they were lying, claiming that any "relationships" were consenting. Although, the jury believed the survivors. Kelly was found guilty of all nine charges brought against him - one charge of racketeering and eight counts of violating a law that prohibits transporting people across state lines for prostitution.

Among multiple sordid allegations, jurors heard testimony roughly a fraudulent marriage scheme hatched to protect Kelly after he feared he had impregnated R&B artist Aaliyah in 1994 when she was only 15.

Prosecutors had announced before the sentencing hearing that he should spend more than 25 years in jail, stating he demonstrated a "callous disregard" for his victims and showed no remorse.

Though lawyers for Kelly argued that he deserved no more than 10 years, the mandatory minimum, stating his history as an abused child may have led to his adult "hypersexuality" - and announced he no longer poses a risk to the public.

They have stated he intends to appeal the verdict.

One of the victims, who Kelly sexually assaulted when she was 17 - which led to depression and post-traumatic stress disorder - said to the singer that being abused himself was no excuse for his crimes.

"Robert, you destroyed so many people's lives," she announced.

Another told the court: "As a teenager, I didn't know how to say no to R Kelly when he asked me to perform oral sex on him.

She then paused and addressed Kelly: "Do you remember that?"

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