R. Kelly: US singer faces decades in jail at sex trafficking sentencing
When R. Kelly is sentenced on Wednesday, nine months after being found guilty of organising a network to sexually abuse women and children, he might spend decades in jail.
The disgraced pop diva was found guilty of racketeering and eight counts of sex trafficking by a New York jury in September.
The maximum sentence for the 55-year-old R&B artist is life in prison, with a minimum term of ten years.
According to the prosecution, he needs to serve at least 25 years in prison.
The musician, who is best known for the hit songs I Believe I Can Fly and Ignition (Remix), was revealed to be the mastermind of a coercive and violent plot to seduce women and children for his sexual abuse.
During the six-week trial, witnesses described how he trafficked women for two decades across several US states with the help of managers, security personnel, and other entourage members.
He had “callous disdain” for his victims, according to the prosecution, and no remorse.
They even claimed that the defendant’s long history of criminal behaviour “appears to have been motivated by narcissism and a belief that his musical ability exonerated him from any responsibility to conform his conduct, no matter how predatory, hurtful, embarrassing, or abusive to others to the strictures of the law.”
The court also found that Kelly obtained marriage licences illegally in 1994 when she was 15 years old and seven years before the singer Aaliyah died in a plane crash.
At the moment the certificate was leaked, Aaliyah’s age was listed as 18. The marriage ended a few months later.
After numerous delays, he will finally get a sentence on Wednesday at the US District Court in New York.
On accusations of obstruction and using child pornographic pictures, Kelly will stand trial separately in Chicago. He will also likely be charged with sexual assault in Minnesota and Illinois.