R. Kelly will be spending the next three decades in prison.
The disgraced R&B superstar was sentenced to 30 years behind bars in his federal sex trafficking case in New York. U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly imposed the sentencing in a Brooklyn courtroom on Wednesday after hearing statements from victims.
“You degraded me, humiliated me, and broke my spirit,” said one woman as she recalled an incident when she was forced to perform oral sex on Kelly. “I wished I would die because of how you degraded me.”
“You are an abuser, shameless, disgusting,” she added, according to NBC News. “I hope you go to jail for the rest of your life. I feel sorry for you.”
BREAKING: R&B singer R. Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for using his superstardom to subject young fans — some just children — to systematic sexual abuse. https://t.co/63L9C6w8xq
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 29, 2022
Kelly was found guilty in September 2021 on all nine counts against him, including racketeering, sexual exploitation of a child, and sex trafficking. The allegations, which span from at least 1992 to 2017, received renewed attention following the Lifetime docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly” that featured testimony from several accusers.
The 55-year-old singer, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, has been in prison since July 2019 and the sentencing will keep him behind bars into his 80s. He was also sentenced to five years of supervised release and a $100,000 fine.
The sentence was more than the 25 years prosecutors had sought, while the defense pushed for the minimum sentence of 10 years or less.
Over the course of the five-week trial that began last August, accusers testified that they were sexually and physically abused by Kelly. The federal jury concluded that the Grammy winner used his celebrity status to mentally and sexually abuse girls and young women.
Kelly still faces federal child pornography and obstruction of justice charges in Chicago. His trial for that case is set to begin Aug. 15.