R. Kelly Sentenced To 30 Years For Sex Trafficking And Racketeering


Singer R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison Wednesday, after being convicted last year on several counts of sex trafficking and other related crimes following accusations that have trailed him nearly his entire career.

Key Facts

Judge Ann M. Donnelly in Brooklyn sentenced Kelly, 55, to three decades in prison, telling him “the public has to be protected from behaviors like this,” according to the New York Times.

Prosecutors asked that he be sentenced to more than 25 years and his lawyers requested he serve under 14 years.

Kelly, whose real name is Robert Kelly, was found guilty last year on eight counts of violating the Mann Act—trafficking women across state lines for sex—and one count of racketeering.

Six women gave victim impact statements before Kelly was sentenced, with one telling the singer she hopes he goes “to jail for the rest of your life” and another, Kitti Jones, saying she will take some of the things Kelly did to her “to my grave,”

Kelly’s lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean said before the sentencing the singer “rejects that he’s this monster” and is “widely accepted as a musical genius.”

Kelly has awaited sentencing at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.

Key Background

Allegations of abuse surrounded Kelly since the 1990s, particularly after his illegal marriage to late R&B singer Aaliyah, who was just 15 when she wed Kelly. Kelly, who is known for his songs “I Believe I Can Fly” and “Ignition,” was charged separately in 2019 in Chicago and in 2020 in New York, and pleaded not guilty to all charges and has denied the claims of abuse and misconduct. During the New York trial, prosecutors described Kelly as a “predator” who used his influence to lure women into sex with him. One woman testified she was promised he would help her music career, but instead was pressured into sex. Multiple witnesses said they had sex with Kelly when they were underage, and described him as controlling. Kelly’s defense said he treated his partners well, but they retaliated against him when things ended. In 2002, Kelly was indicted on child pornography charges, which he was acquitted on in 2008.


Kelly’s misdeeds were brought to light several times, but a 2017 series from Buzzfeed News and a 2019 documentary series Surviving R. Kelly helped serve as catalysts for real action and for the allegations against him to have an impact on his reputation.

What To Watch For

Kelly awaits trial in Chicago in August over child pornography and obstruction of justice charges.

Further Reading

​​R&B Singer R. Kelly Found Guilty Of Sex Trafficking, Racketeering (Forbes)

R. Kelly’s Trial Begins: Here Are The Main Takeaways (Forbes)

Woman Accuses R. Kelly Of Using Her Dream To Be A Singer To Lure Her Into Sexual Relationship At Trial (Forbes)

R. Kelly, Predator Who Used Fame as a Lure, May Now Face Life in Prison (New York Times)

R. Kelly’s summer of reckoning: Convicted singer faces potentially decades in prison in New York, jury trial in Chicago (Chicago Tribune)

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/marisadellatto/2022/06/29/r-kelly-sentenced-to-30-years-for-sex-trafficking-and-racketeering/