R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison for sex trafficking, racketeering

Ike Oppong
Ike Oppong
2 Min Read

A federal judge sentenced singer and convicted sexual predator R. Kelly to 30 years in prison Wednesday.

Kelly was convicted last September of racketeering and violating the Mann Act, a sex trafficking law, including having sex with underage girls. He could have faced up to life in prison.

Kelly declined to make a statement during the hearing on Wednesday. Outside the courthouse, Jennifer Bonjean, a lawyer for Kelly, said his lawyers advised him not to make a statement because he still has pending cases. She said he will make a statement eventually.

Bonjean said Kelly will be appealing the case, adding he was not guilty of racketeering. Responding to questions, Bonjean said Kelly is not an abuser.

“Mr. Kelly is fine,” a lawyer for Kelly told reporters outside the courthouse after the sentencing. “We believe that this enterprise was overcharged.”

U.S. Attorney Breon Peace, who prosecuted the case, called Kelly a predator and said the outcome is significant. Peace said justice was “finally achieved,” speaking outside the courthouse.

“He continued committing his crimes for almost 30 years, until today,” Peace said.

Peace and Steve Francis, acting executive associate director of U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, attributed the outcome to the bravery of victims who came forward.

“This man is a prolific, serial predator,” Francis said. “Today’s sentence is a victory that belongs to the brave victims that came forward.”

He later added, “Money, power and fame will not buy you immunity in the United States.”

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