R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years for sex trafficking
A jury last fall found Kelly guilty on nine counts, including racketeering and sex trafficking
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
R&B singer R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Wednesday following his conviction earlier this year on charges that he was a sexual predator.
He faced the possibility of life in prison, with prosecutors asking for at least 25 years, The Associated Press reported.
Brooklyn U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly sentenced Kelly after witnesses and victims gave statements, but the singer did not speak in court.
“You made me do things that broke my spirit," one woman said directly to Kelly during his sentencing hearing. "I literally wished I would die because of how low you made me feel."
Witnesses testified in Kelly's trial last fall that he sexually preyed on multiple women, some of whom were just children.
Accusations against Kelly had before the trial been circulated for decades. But renewed interest in such allegations was revived during the #MeToo movement. In addition, A docu-series titled "Surviving R. Kelly" renewed public interest.
“We are no longer the preyed on individuals we once were,” another woman said Wednesday.
The 55-year-old Kelly looked down with his arms folded throughout the testimony.
"He’s strong, and we are going to get through this," said Kelly’s defense lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean. She also confirmed that Kelly plans to appeal his conviction.
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