Following R Kelly's sentencing, the lawyer for the singer's victims has spoken out about what the punishment means for them moving forward.
Although his lawyers argued he should be sentenced to just 10 years due to trauma he suffered during childhood, Judge Ann Donnelly said Kelly used his 'minions' to 'lure young fans into your orbit', adding that 'the public has to be protected from behaviours like this'.
US Attorney Breon Peace described the ruling as a 'significant outcome' for the 55-year-old's victims.
“R. Kelly is a predator … Today the sentence shows the witnesses reclaimed their lives and their future,” says Breon Peace, U.S. Attorney. “This is a victory for them, justice and for future survivors of sexual assault.” pic.twitter.com/m1qHGQHBxC— Sierra Gillespie (@sierragillespie) June 29, 2022
Speaking outside of the courthouse, Peace said: "Moments ago, R Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
"This is a significant outcome for all the victims of R Kelly and especially for the survivors who so bravely testified about the horrific and sadistic abuse they endured.
"R Kelly is a predator and as a result of our prosecution, he'll serve a long jail sentence for his crimes.
"With the aid of his fame, his money, and most importantly his inner circle, R Kelly preyed upon children and young women for his own sexual gratification for decades."
Numerous women who were identified as 'Jane Doe' to protect their privacy gave powerful impact statements at today's hearing.
Addressing Kelly directly, Jane Doe 1 said: "The pied piper of R&B, both in music and in technique and in approach.
"Success and love... you presented these glittering gems as if they were gold.
"With every addition of a new victim you grew in wickedness, cockiness, diminishing any form of humanity or self-awareness, which soon became the breeding ground for your God-like complex.
"You were doing, saying and encouraging despicable things that no one should be doing. We reclaim our names from beneath the shadows of your afflicted trauma."
Jane Doe 2 told him: "You are an abuser, you are shameless, you are disgusting."
In September 2021, Kelly was convicted of nine sex crimes including racketeering and sex trafficking.
During the six-week federal trial, assistant US Attorney Maria Cruz Melendez said the singer was a serial abuser who ‘maintained control over these victims using every trick in the predator handbook’.
R. Kelly found guilty on ALL COUNTS— US Attorney EDNY (@EDNYnews) September 27, 2021
Assistant US attorney Nadia Shihata said Kelly believed ‘the music, the fame and the celebrity meant he could do whatever he wanted', adding that the alleged victims ‘aren't groupies or gold diggers' as they'd been described by the defence team, but that 'they're human beings'.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, you can contact Victim Support free on 08 08 16 89 111 available 24/7, every day of the year, including Christmas.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence regarding the welfare of a child, contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000, 8am–10pm Monday to Friday, 9am–6pm weekends. If you are a child seeking advice and support, call Childline for free on 0800 1111
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