R Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years in prison, after he was found guilty of sex trafficking and racketeering offences last year.
The disgraced singer was convicted on nine counts of bribery, racketeering, and violation of the Mann Act last year.
This act also criminalises the transporation of women or girls across state lines for “immoral purposes”. This also includes illegal sexual activity.
Speaking in his defence, R Kelly’s legal team had argued that their client should not be sentenced to more than 10 years in prison.
They had argued for leniency, on the grounds that R Kelly was abused as a child. They also added that he came from a “chaotic home”.
“Mr Kelly rejects that he’s this monster”, his lawyer Jennifer Bonjean told the court.
However, prosecutors insisted that R Kelly had relied “on his fame, money and popularity as an R&B recording star… to both carry and conceal his crimes”.
“He continued his crimes and avoided punishment for them for almost 30 years and must now be held to account”, they continued.
“In light of the seriousness of the offences, the need for specific deterrence and the need to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant, the government respectfully submits that a sentence in excess of 25 years is warraned”.
“the public has to be protected”
Reading out his sentence, US Judge Ann Donnelly insisted that “the public has to be protected from behaviours like this”.
“These crimes were calculated and carefully planned and regularly executed for almost 25 years. You taught them that love is enslavement and violence”, she added.
Several of R Kelly’s abuse victims also provided impact statements for the court.
Gloria Allred represented the three women who gave evidence against R Kelly at the original trial.
She said that “no one can undo the harm that has been done to these victims”.
“With every addition of a new victim you grew in wickedness, cockiness, diminishing any form of humanity or self-awareness, which soon became the breeding ground for your God-like complex”, one victim said of R Kelly.
“You were doing, saying and encouraging despicable things that no one should be doing. We reclaim our names from beneath the shadows of your afflicted trauma. We are no longer the preyed-upon individuals we once were”.
Another added, “What you did has left a permanent stain of my life I’ll never be able to wash away. Now it’s your turn, to have your freedom taken from you”.
R Kelly is also awaiting trial for child pornography charges this Summer.