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Singer R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison for shocking sex crimes against women and children

The fallen singer will likely die behind bars after receiving a huge jail sentence for a series of shocking sex crimes against women and children.

Disgraced musician R. Kelly may never see freedom again after a New York court sentenced him to 30 years in prison for a string of shocking sex crimes against women and children.

The three decade long sentence from Judge Ann M Donnelly was longer than the minimum 25 years called for by prosecutors.

The singer – real name Robert Sylvester Kelly – was sentenced on Wednesday US time.

In September, Kelly was convicted on eight charges of sex trafficking and one of racketeering in relation to a decades long plan that saw women and girls procured for him to abuse. facilitated by some in his inner circle of him.

At 55 years old, he will be in his mid-eighties before he is released. He was also ordered to pay a $US100,000 ($A146,000) fine.

In court, the 1990s star was labeled as "wicked" and a "groomer of boys and girls." One woman said the I Believe I Can Fly crooner made her “literally wish I would die”.

Kelly has been held in jail since 2019. He faces another trial in Chicago in August on charges of coercing minors into sex acts and child pornography.

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Judge’s scathing remarks

Judge Donnelly was scathing of Kelly.

“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,” she said in her sentencing remarks.

“These crimes were calculated and carefully planned and regularly executed for almost 25 years.

“You taught them that love is enslavement and violence.”

Kelly’s lawyer Jennifer Bonjean said he was “prepared" for the stiff sentence. She added: “He’s not a predator. He disagrees with the characterizations that have been made about him”.

Kelly was 'wicked' and a 'groomer'

During the sentencing at the Eastern District federal courthouse in Brooklyn on Wednesday afternoon local time several of Kelly’s victims gave emotional statements of the abuse they suffered at the star’s hands.

A woman, only referred to as "Angela" called Kelly a "Pied Piper" who lured in children.

“With every addition of a new victim, you grew in wickedness. You used your fame and power to groom and coach underage boys and girls for your own sexual gratification,” she added.

Another victim told the court: “You made me do things that broke my spirit. I literally wished I would die because of how low you made me feel”.

“Addie” told the court how an R. Kelly concert she attended in September 1994 “changed me forever” after she said he sexually assaulted her that night.

“I do not know how to put a price on all I’ve gone through,” said yet another victim Lizette Martinez.

She then referred to the criminal by his real, not stage name: “Robert, you destroyed so many people’s lives”.

Another woman said Kelly would force her to perform oral sex on him after he came back perspiring from basketball matches.

“I felt special, because someone who was special to the world was interested in me,”

One victim’s father demanded Kelly “look at me, man to man, father to father”.

Kelly refused to look up.

kelly’s trial

During the month-long trial last year, prosecutors painted Kelly as a “predator” who used his fame and a cadre of employees to prey on young victims.

“This case is not about a celebrity who likes to party a lot,” Assistant US Attorney Maria Cruz Melendez said in her opening statement at the September trial.

“This case is about a predator,” she said.

Kelly’s scheme saw an inner circle of friends and staff members transport victims across state lines, control them and enable the sexual abuse, the court heard.

Jerhonda Pace told the court that Kelly repeatedly had sex with her in his Chicago mansion, all while she was under 18 years old.

Kelly also illegally obtained documents to marry singer Aaliyah when she was just 15 years old and had likely been abusing her for up to two years beforehand. The pair split shortly afterwards.

She tragically died in a plane crash in 2001.

Man arrested over R. Kelly threats

Drama surrounded the hearing after a fan of Kelly’s was arrested in Chicago after allegedly threatening officials presiding over the case.

Christopher Gunn, 39, is alleged to have warned that he intended to “storm” the US Attorney’s New York office, reported the Chicago Tribune.

In a YouTube video, Gunn is said to have posted an image of the office and said, “If Kellz (sic) goes down, everybody’s going down”.

It’s claimed he named the prosecutors on the case and showed a clip from a movie showing someone being shot. On Monday, he was charged with making threats involving serious bodily injury or death.

– with Elizabeth Rosner and Ben Feuerherd of the NY Post

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