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Musician R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison for sexual abuse of minors

2022-06-29T19:27:08.090Z

“You made me do things that broke my integrity. I literally wished I had died because of how bad you made me feel,” said a woman abused when she was a teenager.



By Tom Hays and Bobby Caina Calvan -

The Associated Press

A federal judge in New York on Wednesday sentenced musician R. Kelly to 30 years in prison for taking advantage of his fame to systematically abuse young women and minors.

The victims of the 55-year-old R&B music star listened expectantly to the sentence in the federal courtroom in Brooklyn.

Federal Judge Ann Donnelly pronounced the sentence after hearing from the survivors.

"You made me do things that broke my integrity. I literally wished I had died because of how bad you made me feel

," a woman he abused when she was just a teenager told him.

Rapper R. Kelly during a hearing at Leighton Criminal Court in Chicago on September 17, 2019. Antonio Perez / AP

"Do you remember that?" he asked.

Kelly was found guilty of sex trafficking of minors by a federal jury in Brooklyn in September 2021, in a case emblematic of the #MeToo movement that sought to end impunity for men who used their positions of power to abuse women.

Outrage over Kelly's teenage abuse gained national prominence in part because of the popular documentary series

Surviving R. Kelly

, which gave voice to women who spoke out, who came to wonder if they had been ignored in initially because they were black women.

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Another of the plaintiffs claimed that Kelly had manipulated millions of people who enjoy her music into believing she was someone other than the one the jury convicted.

Women "have tried to be heard and recognized," she said.

“We are no longer the victims that we once were,” she added.

Another woman who sobbed as she spoke said Kelly's conviction had renewed her confidence in the criminal justice system.

“I once lost hope, but my faith has been restored

,” he told prosecutors and the judge.

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The woman said that Kelly abused her after a concert when she was 17 years old and did not dare to talk about it with others: "I was scared, I was naive and I did not know how to handle the situation."

"Silence is a very lonely place," he added.

Kelly kept her hands folded and her eyes downcast as she listened to her victims speak.

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“He is strong and we are going to get through this,” defense attorney Jennifer Bonjean said.

Whatever her sentence is,

Kelly is hopeful her conviction will be overturned on appeal

, she added.

US District Judge Ann Donnelly ruled that Kelly could be sentenced to life in prison, even though his attorneys had asked for 10 years or less.

Kelly's lawyers argued that the judge should take into account that Kelly had "experienced a traumatic childhood" in which he was sexually abused for a long time, suffered from violence and poverty.

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As an adult with "literacy deficiencies," the star was "repeatedly financially defrauded and abused, often by the people he hired to protect him," his lawyers said.

Kelly is known for musical hits like

I Believe I Can Fly

(1996) and the classic

Trapped in the Closet

(2005-2012), a multi-part story of intrigue and sexual betrayal.

This is a developing story.

Please check back for updates.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2022-06-29

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