Popular US singer, Robert Sylvester Kelly, popularly known as R. Kelly, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for sex charges.
The songwriter was sentenced on Wednesday after he was convicted of racketeering and sex trafficking in September last year following a nearly six-week trial.
The judge, Ann M. Donnelly, delivered the verdict at the federal court in Brooklyn, New York, United States of America, after hearing from several survivors who attested to how Kelly’s exploitation affected them.
The judge said, “You were a person who had great advantages — worldwide fame and celebrity and untold money.
“You took advantage of their hopes and dreams, holding teenagers in your house trapped.
“You were at the top of your organization and you raped and beat them, separated them from their families and forced them to do unspeakable things.”
Prosecutors had asked for at least 25 years.
His legal team argued that he deserves no more than a decade because he is “not currently a risk to the public”.
The embattled singer, 55, has been in detention for months, awaiting his June 29 sex trafficking sentencing.
Kelly is separately facing trial in Chicago on child sex images and obstruction charges.
The trial is expected to begin in August.
Since the 1990s, Kelly has been repeatedly accused of sexual abuse of young adults and minors.
The assault allegations against Kelly had received wide exposure after the 2019 Lifetime documentary ‘Surviving R Kelly’, which explored claims that an entourage of supporters protected Kelly and silenced his victims for decades.
Kelly had been arrested by federal authorities in Chicago back in 2019 and transferred to New York in June 2021.
The singer, best known for the 1996 smash hit ‘I Believe I Can Fly’, has consistently denied any wrongdoing.