R. Kelly sentenced to 20 years for child sex crimes, but avoids lengthy jail add-on – National

CHICAGO (AP) — R. Kelly was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison for child pornography and sexual solicitation of a minor, all but one of whom has been charged with racketeering and sex trafficking. convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber has sentenced Kelly to a year in prison following a racketeering sentence imposed in New York last year.

A central question heading into sentencing in Kelly’s hometown of Chicago is whether Reinenweber will tell the 56-year-old Grammy Award winner at the same time as he completes his term in New York or after he completes his sentence in prison. The question was whether to order him to serve only. The latter would have equated to life imprisonment.

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Prosecutors had conceded that a lengthy prison term served only after the New York sentencing had erased the chances of Kelly getting out of prison alive. His crimes against children and lack of remorse justified it. That’s what they asked for.

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Thursday’s ruling, however, leaves Kelly serving no more than 31 years in prison. That means he’s eligible for release around his 80s, giving him hope that one day he’ll get out of prison alive.

Leinenweber said at the beginning of the hearing that he does not accept the government’s allegations that Kelly used fear to solicit sex from underage girls.

“The[government’s]overall theory of grooming was diametrically opposed to the fear of physical harm,” the judge told the court. “It was the fear of lost love, of lost affection” (from Kelly). ”

Prosecutors say Kelly’s crimes against children and his lack of remorse justify a harsher sentence.

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A sober Kelly spoke briefly at the start of the hearing. The judge asked whether he had reviewed the material pre-judgment documents for inaccuracies.

“Your honor, I looked it up with my lawyer,” Kelly said. “I’m just relying on my lawyer.”

Two of Kelly’s accusers asked the judge to punish Kelly severely.

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The woman, who testified under the pseudonym “Jane,” said in a statement read out in court that she herself had lost her early desire to become a singer and her hopes for a fulfilling relationship.

“I lost my dream to Robert Kelly,” the statement said. “What you lost to Robert Kelly will never come back. …”I was permanently scarred by Robert.”

This woman was a key witness for prosecutors during Kelly’s trial. Four of his beliefs are tied to her.

“When your virginity was taken by a pedophile at age 14…your life will never be yours,” Jane’s statement read.

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Another accuser, using the pseudonym “Nia,” attended the hearing and addressed Kelly directly in court. Speaking forcefully with her voice trembling, Nia said she would repeatedly pick on her supposed faults while Kelly abused her.

“Now you are here…because there is something wrong with you,” she said. “I can no longer harm children.”

A Chicago jury convicted Kelly on six of 13 counts last year.

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Kelly rose out of poverty in Chicago to become one of the biggest R&B stars in the world.known for smash hits i believe i can fly And for songs with sex like bump and grindhe sold millions of albums even after allegations of his mistreatment of girls began to circulate publicly in the 1990s.

In pre-sentence filings, prosecutors described Kelly as a “serial sexual predator” who used his fame and fortune to molest and dump Star Track fans.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Janice Appenten Thursday asked a judge to hand down a longer sentence and keep Kelly in prison “for the rest of his life.”

Kelly’s child abuse was exacerbated because she “remembered” the abuse by filming victims, including Jane. I used it,” he said.

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Kelly’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjeen, said in pre-hearing filings that prosecutors were trying to get judges to join the government’s “bloodthirsty campaign” to make Kelly a symbol of the #MeToo movement. It was accused of providing an “embellished narrative”.

Bonjean said Kelly has suffered enough, including financially. She said his value used to be close to $1 billion, but he’s “poor now.”

In court Thursday, Bonjean said Kelly would be lucky to survive a 30-year New York prison sentence alone. , is iconic,” she said. “Why? Because it’s R. Kelly.

She also argued that Kelly’s silence should not be viewed as a lack of remorse.

She advised Kelly not to speak because he could continue to appeal his convictions and face other legal action, but said, “He wants to, he very much wants to.” rice field.

© 2023 The Canadian Press

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