R. Kelly, a fallen R’n’B star already sentenced to thirty years in prison in June for sexual crimes committed against young women, sometimes teenagers, was sentenced on Wednesday, September 14, for production of child pornography and embezzlement of a minor, according to the newspaper Chicago Grandstand.
Prosecutor John Lausch revealed to the media of the third largest city in the United States that the minimum sentence to be added would be ten years, which could go up to ninety years in prison for Robert Sylvester Kelly, aged 55. The verdict “holds Robert Kelly to account for the sexual violence committed against a 14-year-old girl”said J. Lausch. “The suffering inflicted by Mr. Kelly on his victims is immense”he added, welcoming the “strength, determination and courage” of those who testified at the trial.
Excerpts from videos showing sexual violence committed by R. Kelly on young teenage girls, one of whom was only 14, were shown during the trial. The artist was found guilty in September 2021 in New York of having piloted a ” system “ sexual exploitation of young people, including teenage girls.
The singer, world famous for his hit I Believe I Can Fly and his 75 million records sold, was acquitted by a federal jury on other counts of obstruction of justice. He and two former associates – also acquitted on Wednesday – were charged with disrupting the course of his 2008 child pornography trial, in which the jury found him not guilty. They were accused of having both threatened and corrupted a victim, who had not then testified. Now 37, she spoke this time.
This trial had been considered a major step in the #metoo movement: it was the first time that most of the plaintiffs were black women and that they accused a black artist. For decades, the success of R. Kelly had been tarnished by suspicions of sexual violence, subject of persistent rumors. He had long managed to silence them with financial agreements that included confidentiality clauses.
As early as 2017, two women, Kenyette Barnes and Oronike Odeleye, called for a boycott of his songs, sharing the hashtag “Mute R. Kelly” (“Shut up R. Kelly”). In January 2019, the documentary series Surviving R. Kelly had driven the nail. Several victims described the singer as manipulative, violent and obsessed with very young girls.
During the trial in New York, the victims had described the tactics used by the singer to attract very young women by using his celebrity, and with the complicity of those around him. Many of them had met the star at concerts, after which they were slipped a small piece of paper indicating R. Kelly’s contact details. He would do something for their musical career, they were promised.
Instead, they were doing “indoctrinate” in the middle “sordid” of R. Kelly, were forced into sexual intercourse and kept in this ” system “ by “coercive measures”according to the prosecution.
The singer had managed to climb to the top of the music industry despite his tumultuous personal life, including his marriage – then canceled – with his 15-year-old protege, singer Aaliyah. R. Kelly wrote and produced the late artist’s 2001 debut album, Age Ain’t Nothin’ But A Number (“Age is just a number”).