R. Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years in prison after he was convicted of sex trafficking crimes in New York.
On Wednesday, June 29, the beleaguered R&B singer learned his fate during a sentencing hearing at a Brooklyn federal court. According to the New York Times, Kelly will serve at least 30 years in prison after he was found guilty of eight counts of sex trafficking and one count of racketeering, which stemmed from a slew of criminal acts including sex with various women and underaged children. Prosecutors had previously requested at least 25 years in prison, but one of his victims believed that wasn't enough time for the convicted R&B singer.
"Kelly relied upon his fame, money and popularity as an R&B recording star and used the large network of people his status afforded him -- including his business managers, security guards and bouncers, runners, lawyers, accountants and assistants to both carry out and conceal his crimes," prosecutors said during the singer's trial according to ABC News. "He continued his crimes and avoided punishment for them for almost 30 years and must now be held to account."
During his sex-trafficking trial held back in September 2021, prosecutors argued that Kelly was the leader of a criminal organization that "calculated" and "methodically" recruited young women and children to be his sex slaves. About four dozen women took the stand to recount the countless times Kelly preyed on vulnerable children and gullible women. In addition to the sex-trafficking charges, Kelly was also convicted of curating a bribery scheme with a public official to get a fake ID for the late singer Aaliyah, who he married when she was 15 and he was 27. He reportedly thought that the young singer was pregnant at the time.
The 55-year-old singer will remain behind bars for 30 years and could have more time added to his already lengthy stay in prison. He's expected to face a separate trial for child sex images and obstruction charges in Chicago towards the end of the summer. He also faces charges of prostitution and solicitation of a minor in Minnesota.