By Bret Lewis — June 29, 2022
R&B superstar R. Kelly could quite possibly spend the rest of his life in prison when he is sentenced Wednesday (June 29,2022) on charges he sexually abused multiple women, boys, and young girls.
Kelly, 55, is scheduled to appear in Brooklyn Federal Court after he was declared guilty in September 2021 on nine charges, including racketeering and violating the Mann Act, which includes the transportation across state lines of women and girls for an “immoral purpose.”
The court hearing is set to begin at 10:30 a.m. which will include some women who testified at the singer’s trial last year, are expected to speak in court.
Prosecutors have asked Judge Ann Donnelly for a sentencing term of more than 25 years for the “When a Woman’s Fed Up” singer, whose real name is Robert Kelly — saying in the sentencing memo that Mr. Kelly relied on his money and famous status to “both carry and conceal his crimes.”
“He continued his crimes and avoided punishment for them for almost 30 years and must now be held to account,” the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York said in a 31-page sentencing memo.
Prosecutors plan to portray Kelly during the hearing as a predator with a pattern of abuse for more than 20 years who showed no remorse for what he had done.
“Indeed, the defendant’s decades of crime appear to have been fueled by narcissism and a belief that his musical talent absolved him of any need to confirm his conduct — no matter how predatory, harmful, humiliating or abusive to other — to the structures of the law,” the document said.
Jennifer Bonjean, a lawyer who has also represented actor and comedian Bill Cosby, has asked for Kelly’s sentence to be less than 14 years.
The defense team attempted to portray accusers who testified as scorned fans, and said R. Kelly shouldn’t get more time for abusing a victim referred to in court as “Jane” whose own parents pushed for his assistance with her music career.
“The record shows that Jane’s parents directed Jane to lie to the defendant about her age and then encouraged her to seduce him,” Kelly’s lawyers said in a court document.
There were nearly 45 witnesses called during the trial, with tearful testimony from victim Jerhonda Pace, who recounts a confrontation with an enraged singer, who she said slapped her and forced her to perform oral sex on him.
One witness testified to walking in on R. Kelly performing oral sex on singer Aaliyah when she was just 13 or 14 years old.
Onlookers described the scheme for Kelly to illegally marry Aaliyah in 1994, when she was just 15 and he was 27. Kelly supposedly feared the young girl was pregnant and married her which he thought it would help him avoid charges for having sex with a minor, and ban her from testifying against him. A former member of the singer’s entourage testified he bribed an official to get Aaliyah a fake identification card showing she was 18 so the marriage could go forward.
Aaliyah died in a plane crash in 2001 at 22 years old.
While this trial is proceeding R. Kelly is also facing charges in Minnesota and federal charges of pornography and obstruction in Illinois.
The NAACP Image Award winner didn’t testify in his own defense during his Brooklyn trial, but famously broke into hysteria during a 2019 CBS News interview with Gayle King and seemed to repulse any wrongdoing. The interview happened around the same time the debut of the series “Surviving R. Kelly,” which documented a slew of the allegations against him.
He may choose to make a statement at his sentencing Wednesday.
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