R Kelly sentenced to 20 years in prison for child sex crimes
R Kelly has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for child sex crimes.
A federal judge ruled he will serve this sentence at the same time as the 30 years he is currently serving. As a result of the new sentencing, he will serve an extra year in prison.
On Thursday (23 February), the sentencing was announced after a jury in Chicago found the singer guilty of six of the 13 charges brought against him in September 2022.
These included three counts of coercing minors into illegal sexual activity as well as three counts of creating pornography that showed him abusing a minor.
R Kelly is currently serving 30 years in prison for racketeering and sex trafficking charges.
Prosecutors argued that R Kelly’s sentence should be added on top of the current sentence he is serving, with Jeannice Williams Appenteng stating in court: “The only way to ensure he will not reoffend is to impose a sentence that will keep him in prison for the rest of his life.”
However, the singer’s lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, said that the 56-year-old was “likely to die in prison either way”. Bonjean, who is ppealing the conviction, said that if he was still alive at the end of his sentence, he would not pose a threat in old age.
R Kelly was acquitted of two further counts of enticing minors into having sex and one related to an obstruction of an earlier investigation into the abuse of the goddaughter he has been found guilty of abusing.
The “I Believe I Can Fly” singer has faced consistent allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct throughout his career, which he has denied.
In 1994, then aged 27, Kelly married 15-year-old singer Aaliyah at a secret ceremony in Chicago. The marriage was later annulled after the teenager was found to have lied about her age on the marriage certificate.
Kelly faced further accusations of having sexual relations with underage women in 1996, 2001 and 2002.
He was charged with 21 counts of making child sexual abuse videos involving various sexual acts in June 2002, but was acquitted on all counts following trial in 2008.
In 2017, a new investigation by Buzzfeed claimed that Kelly had trapped six women in a sex “cult” having taken advantage of them after they approached him for help with their musical careers.
The singer was accused of controlling the women’s lives, including what they ate and wore, and when they slept, and keeping records of their sexual activity.
The article prompted more alleged victims to come forward, with a six-part documentary titled Surviving R Kelly airing on Lifetime in 2019. It detailed further allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct against the singer.
In July 2019, Kelly was arrested and charged with sex trafficking offences, including possession of child abuse images and obstruction of justice.