On Wednesday, singer R. Kelly was sentenced to prison after he was found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking charges last year.
Driving the news: Judge Ann M. Donnelly sentenced the 55-year-old to 30 years behind bars, per NPR.
During the trial last year, the jury found that the government proved he had led a scheme to recruit young boys and girls, as well as women, into sex.
His defense attorneys had asked for him to be sentenced to 10 or fewer years in prison, partly because he “experienced a traumatic childhood involving severe, prolonged childhood sexual abuse, poverty, and violence,” according to The Associated Press.
- They also argued that he was lied to and financially abused by those under his payroll, mainly because he suffered through “literacy deficiencies.”
On the other side: The prosecutors requested more than 25 years in prison. Seven of Kelly’s victims who had testified at the trial gave impact statements, including Jane Doe 2.
- “It’s been 23 years since we knew each other, and you’ve victimized a lot of girls since then,” she said, addressing Kelly in front of the court, according to CNN.
- “Now it’s your turn to have your freedom taken from you,” she added.
Meanwhile, Kelly declined to make a statement before his sentencing, per Rolling Stone.
“Yes your honor, that is my wish,” he said to the judge when directly asked.
Background: The R&B singer was found guilty after a six-week trial with 45 witnesses called, including former employees, relatives of accusers and a doctor, per The New York Times. However, most of the case was based on the testimonies of the seven victims.
According to The Associated Press, Kelly has been in jail since 2019 and is facing child pornography charges and obstruction of justice charges in Chicago.