R Kelly, a Disgraced R&B superstar on Wednesday was sentenced to 30 years in prison for using his fame to sexually abuse young fans, including some who were just children in a systematic scheme that went on for decades.
US District Judge Ann Donnelly imposed the sentence after hearing from several survivors who attested to how Kelly’s exploitation reverberated across their lives.
Sentenced for 30 years in Sex Trafficking Case: R Kelly
You made me do things that broke my spirit. I literally wished I would die because of how low you made me feel, said one unnamed survivor, directly addressing a Kelly who kept his hands folded and his eyes downcast. Do you remember that? The sentence caps a slow-motion fall for Kelly, who was adored by legions of fans and sold millions of albums even after allegations about his abuse of young girls began circulating publicly in the 1990s.
Widespread outrage over Kelly’s sexual misconduct didn’t come until the #MeToo reckoning, reaching a crescendo after the release of the docuseries Surviving R. Kelly.
Kelly’s lawyers had argued he should get no more than 10 years in prison because he had a traumatic childhood involving severe, prolonged childhood sexual abuse, poverty, and violence.