R. Kelly is to spend an extra year in prison on the 30-year sentence he is already serving. Several months later, he was convicted in a second federal trial in Chicago of enticing minors for sex and producing child sexual imagery.
Kelly was jailed in June 2022 for three decades for sex trafficking and racketeering after a trial in New York. He has now received a 20-year term for those crimes. However, 19 years will be served at the same time as the previous sentence.
If served in full, he will be behind bars until he is in his mid-80s. Federal prosecutors were seeking a 25-year sentence in the second case, higher than required under federal sentencing guidelines. They said Kelly’s crimes were made worse by the fact that he filmed them, with some of the footage later becoming available online.
“Because Kelly is Kelly, more people have watched child pornography,” they said in a memo. “The effects of Kelly’s conduct are wide-ranging, incalculable and irreversible.”
The singer’s defence attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, had asked the judge to allow Kelly to serve his latest sentence concurrently with the previous sentence. This means that he would be serving them at the same time. She said a consecutive sentence would amount to a “second life sentence“.
She also accused prosecutors of using an “embellished” narrative to “inflame” perceptions of the former R&B star.