R. Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for numerous sex trafficking charges. The R&B singer reportedly used his celebrity status throughout his career to coerce young individuals to participate in sexual acts.
Kelly’s conviction in 2021 found him guilty of one count of racketeering and eight breaches of the Mann Act, which criminalizes the use of “any woman or girl for prostitution or debauchery, or for any other immoral purpose.”
The beginning of the #MeToo movement and the Lifetime documentary entitled “Surviving R. Kelly” broadcasted Kelly’s actions on a wide scale. Survivors of his acts had been silenced in the past, hoping to hide the extent of Kelly’s crimes.
One of the most prominent illegal acts involves Kelly’s previous marriage to the R&B artist Aaliyah. Allegedly, Kelly got pregnant at the age of 15 when the two married. Because of her underage status, witnesses have stated that Kelly used his status to bribe a government official to supply a fake ID, further protecting his name.
Kelly’s marriage to Aaliyah is just one story of countless survivors. Angela, another victim of these sexual crimes, made a statement about Kelly while his sentence hearing commenced. “With every addition of a new victim, you grew in wickedness, […] You used your fame and power to groom and coach underage boys and girls for your own sexual gratification.”
Still to come are Kelly’s pending criminal charges in Chicago and Minnesota. Of those illegalities, Kelly has been charged with child pornography and obstruction of justice and will be tried in Illinois later this year.
Kelly’s lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, aided the process of overturning Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction. She has stated that they are planning to appeal this sentencing.
Article by: McKinley Franklin x Vaughn Lowery