R. Kelly Will Face 20 Years in Prison

Federal prosecutors had pushed for 25 years in prison, citing Kelly's "lack of remorse."

R kelly Sentencing

Getty Images

The New York Times reports that a federal judge in Chicago has sentenced singer R. Kelly to 20 years in prison for child sex crimes. The news comes after a previous conviction in Brooklyn, New York, that saw Kelly facing 30 years in jail for racketeering and sex trafficking. The Times notes that the Chicago case included multiple videos of Kelly "sexually abusing his 14-year-old goddaughter" submitted as evidence. Kelly is currently in prison, serving that sentence. 

Today, Kelly was convicted of six of the 13 total charges brought against him regarding sexual abuse dating back to the 1990s. The 13 included "three counts of coercing minors into sexual activity and three of producing sex tapes involving a minor."

“The only way to ensure he will not re-offend is to impose a sentence that will keep him in prison for the rest of his life,” Jeannice Williams Appenteng, a prosecutor on the case, said in court on Thursday. Federal prosecutors had pushed for 25 years in prison, citing Kelly's "lack of remorse."

Jennifer Bonjean, one of Kelly's lawyers, argued that he was “likely to die in prison either way,” though she added that if that wasn't the case, he would not be a threat as he approached old age. The Times added that she would be appealing both convictions.

R kelly Sentencing

Getty Images

The trial did include some controversy after jurors noted that they were influenced by a lack of evidence back in 2008. At the time, Kelly was acquitted, but in 2022, more evidence came to light, including testimony from a woman that the court identified as Jane.

In Thursday’s hearing, Christopher Brown, Jane's lawyer, read a statement to the jury that shared "how the repeated sexual abuse affected her life" and requested that Kelly is behind bars for “as long as the law allows.”

“I’ll never be able to unsee the child pornography,” her statement read. “No amount of therapy will make me normal.”

Related Articles