There’s news on the conclusion of the federal trial of R&B musician and producer R. Kelly, according to the Associated Press.
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NEW YORK (AP) — R&B star R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison Wednesday for using his superstardom to subject young fans — some just children — to systematic sexual abuse.
The singer and songwriter, 55, was convicted of racketeering and sex trafficking last year at a trial that gave voice to accusers who had once wondered if their stories were being ignored because they were Black women.
U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly imposed the sentence after hearing from several survivors who attested to how Kelly’s exploitation reverberated across their lives.
The AP continues:
Kelly, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, used his “fame, money and popularity” to systematically “prey upon children and young women for his own sexual gratification,” prosecutors wrote in a court filing earlier this month.
Allegations that Kelly abused young girls began circulating publicly in the 1990s. He was sued in 1997 by a woman who alleged sexual battery and sexual harassment while she was a minor, and he later faced criminal child pornography charges related to a different girl in Chicago. A jury there acquitted him in 2008, and he settled the lawsuit.
Kelly’s lawyers had argued he should get no more than 10 years in prison because he had a traumatic childhood “involving severe, prolonged childhood sexual abuse, poverty, and violence.”
As an adult with “literacy deficiencies,” the star was “repeatedly defrauded and financially abused, often by the people he paid to protect him,” his lawyers said.
The wire service report notes that Kelly did not address the court or his victims at sentencing, and he still faces charges of “child pornography and obstruction of justice” in Chicago.