After being found guilty of decades-long sexual abuse of women, boys, and girls, R. Kelly was given a 30-year prison term.
In September of last year, a federal jury in New York found the disgraced 90s singer, 55, guilty.
Kelly was sentenced today by Judge Ann Donnelly, who said he had used his “minions” to “lure young admirers into your orbit” and that she would “never forget” some of the testimonies of his victims.
Federal prosecutors had called for him to be locked up for more than 25 years to “protect the public”, but his defence had argued that a sentence of 10 years or less is all he deserves as he’s “not currently a risk”.
Kelly was also found in violation of an anti-sex trafficking law known as the Mann Act.
The Ignition hitmaker, who denied all charges, was found guilty on all nine counts against him following a six-week trial in Brooklyn, New York.
Today, Kelly was branded “the pied piper of R&B” as he came face to face with several of his victims who detailed his “deplorable and inexplicable” abuse ahead of his sentencing.
The court heard victim impact statements from seven women who identified themselves only as Jane Does and described Kelly’s “God-like mindset” and how he lured his victims with his “celebrity and power.”
The pied piper of R&B, both in music and in approach, said a woman who went by the alias Angela.
“Love and success… You displayed these sparkling diamonds as though they were made of gold.
“With each successive victim, you got more cruel and arrogant, lessening any hint of humanity or self-awareness, which eventually gave rise to your God-like complex.
You were acting dishonourably and should not have been supporting or encouraging such behaviour.
Kelly looked straight ahead as the emotional statements were read out.
At one point a woman known as Jane Doe number two halted her statement saying she “did not want to interrupt (Kelly’s) conversation” as the singer appeared to confer with his lawyer.
“You are an abuser, you are shameless, you are disgusting,” she told him.
In her sentencing remarks, Judge Donnelly told Kelly: “Sentencing another human being is probably the most difficult thing a judge has to do.”
“It is fair to say, Mr Kelly, that you are a person that had some great advantage, you had worldwide fame and celebrity, untold money,” she said.
“Using your status and celebrity… you had a system of people that you used to lure young fans into your orbit.
“Having your minions troll for young people at the mall… handing out your phone number… for the opportunity to meet R Kelly.”
“You fancied yourself a genius that can do ‘whatever I want because of what I give to the world’.”
In shocking claims, Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Cruz Melendez said Kelly would require victims to get his permission before doing virtually anything, including going to the bathroom.
He then reportedly blackmailed them by threatening to release self-incriminating letters he forced them to write if they scarpered.
The singer is also claimed to have insisted on his victims calling him “Daddy” while filming their sexual encounters, controlling his victims “physically, sexually and psychologically”.
But Kelly’s lawyer Nicole Blank Becker said the government’s case had “gaps,” claiming his accusers were former fans who were scorned because they were unhappy their relationships didn’t work out.
R. Kelly has been jailed without bail since in 2019.
He’s still facing child pornography and obstruction of justice charges in Chicago, where a trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 15.