After being found guilty of years of psychological and sexual abuse, the R&B artist, 55, is certain to spend a large portion of the rest of his life behind bars.
R. Kelly was signed to his first major record company while he was in his mid-20s and a rising R&B star from Chicago. According to her subsequent lawsuit, he started having sex with a 15-year-old girl about the same time.
Over the years, the charges grew more numerous. They became more and more heinous. They overflowed into the open. However, the musician who rose to stardom relied on his notoriety to hide the predator hiding behind the persona—and to protect himself from consequences.
The 55-year-old Mr. Kelly was no longer able to avoid the consequences on Wednesday when he was given a 30-year prison term for racketeering and sex trafficking. He remained silent as the court gave out his sentence, and outside, his victims showed a great deal of relief.
After being found guilty in September, Mr. Kelly’s shocking decline from the king of R&B and a chart-topping hitmaker reached its apex with his sentencing. His musical legacy is now inextricably linked to his misdeeds. His prosecution brought to light horrifying and continual agony ordered by the artist and made possible by those around him.
Few crimes exist that are more heinous than those committed by Mr. Kelly, according to U.S. District Judge Ann M. Donnelly, who presided over the federal trial in Brooklyn. She also noted that Mr. Kelly had misled children and women. The judge recalled the circumstances he constructed to subject them to primitive humiliation and stated, “You taught them that love is captivity and brutality.
“Sex is not at issue in this case. It’s about cruelty, violence, and control,” added Judge Donnelly. “You had a system in place that ensnared young people and then controlled their lives,” the speaker said.
A non-disclosure agreement was broken by Jerhonda Pace when she talked about having sex with Kelly while she wasn’t old enough. Kitti Jones, a different lady, alleged that the celebrity starved her, forced her into sex with other women, and physically abused her. In the trial in 2021, Ms. Pace would later give testimony against Kelly.
In March 2018, Ms. Kitti and other associates of R. Kelly provided commentary for a BBC Three program. Lovell Jones, a former friend, and collaborator alleged that Kelly requested him to hunt for ladies at parties “who appeared young” and that it was “common knowledge” that the singer favored young girls.