R&B singer, R. Kelly has been sentenced to 20 years in prison in a Chicago federal Courtroom on Thursday, the 23rd of, February following prosecutors’ request that he be sentenced to 25 years on charges of child pornography and enticement of a minor. Meanwhile, the Chicago Federal Judge, Harry Leinenweber had ruled against all motions for acquittal and new federal character for American singer, R. Kelly, on Thursday, February 16.
Kelly had earlier been sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2022 by the New York federal court. This was on nine counts which include child pornography- “sexual exploitation of children” and “transportation of women and girls in interstate commerce to engage in illegal sexual activity given his years of sexual abuse of his goddaughter, Jane,” as well as his sexual misconduct with two other girls.
The anonymous witness, identified as “Jane,” has testified that Kelly began sexually abusing her when she was just 14 years old, even filming their encounters. Her statement reads:
I have lost my dignity due to Robert Kelly. I have lost my dreams due to Robert Kelly. I have lost my teenage years to Robert Kelly,I will forever be the girl that R Kelly peed on..
The motion filed by the singer’s attorneys stating the jurors have been misled by the witness’ indecision was denied last two weeks.
Judge Leieweber states:
Simply because Jane and her attorney considered the possibility of restitution does not mean she lied during her testimony,” Jane’s testimony was that she was undecided. Her testimony was not that she was not intending to pursue restitution/
Nevertheless, in a 37-page filing, prosecutors denied claims that white musicians who had relationships with underage girls were given a pass by the government. The claims were made by R. Kelly’s lead attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, who raised concerns about the federal government’s “obsession with ensuring that Kelly dies in prison”. The prosecutors, however, maintained that the singer should be given an additional 25 years.
The prosecutors claim that;
Kelly not only refuses to accept any responsibility for his conduct, but he repeatedly deflects any blame for his crimes, and instead advocates that he is being treated unfairly because, for example, ‘other artists and musicians’ should be prosecuted for these crimes,”
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeannice Appenteng, Elizabeth Pozolo, Jason Julien, and Brian Williamson wrote:
Plain and simple, Kelly does not comprehend that what he did was wrong.”
The prosecutors further stated that this was necessary to
protect the community from R. Kelly , as he has shown no signs of rehabilitation.”
Bonjean had previously delved into R. Kelly’s traumatic childhood as part of their defence. His trauma included being shot in the arm at age 14, witnessing frequent domestic violence and being repeatedly sexually abused.
Nevertheless, this did not sit well with the prosecutors and has only complicated the process for Kelly.
He lacked the insights or ability to appreciate the ways in which his traumatic childhood impacted his unhealthy sexual development and harmful choices.”
Now that the singer has been sentenced, he will likely get the help he needs to become a better individual. We hope that Jane, however, finds the healing she needs to go on.