After decades of sexual abuse against women, young girls, and boys, disgraced singer-songwriter R. Kelly was convicted of all nine counts in his sex trafficking trial and has been incarcerated ever since. Now, prosecutors are pushing for the R&B singer and now registered sex offender to face at least 25 years in prison.
According to a federal sentencing memorandum released on Wednesday (June 8), the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York wants to keep the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer behind bars in order to “protect the public.” The letter further states: “The government respectfully submits that a sentence in excess of 25 years is warranted.”
The USAO also came to the conclusion that Kelly carried out all of his crimes by relying on “his fame, money and popularity as an R&B recording star and used the large network of people his status afforded him – including his business managers, security guards and bouncers, runners, lawyers, accountants, and assistants – to both carry out and conceal his crimes.”
R. Kelly Sentencing Memo by New York Post
“He continued his crimes and avoided punishment for them for almost 30 years and must now be held to account,” he continued. The document speaks to how Kelly “methodically groomed the women,” during his decades of abuse and sexual exploitation. The judges also warned that with sentencing an excess of 25 years, Kelly would be “unlikely to be deterred from further sexually abusing and exploiting children and others.”
If this motion is granted, Kelly would be in his 70s when released, according to prosecutors.
Kelly is backed by Bill Cosby’s defense attorney Jennifer Bonjean who argued that Kelly needs a lighter sentence. According to legal documentation, Bonjean made a motion on May 27, asking that Kelly only receive 14 to 17.5 years. She noted that the government had previously deemed Kelly eligible for a life sentence, however, Bonjean wants to counteract that with her own breakdowns of counts.
R. Kelly was originally scheduled for sentencing on June 15, but it has been rescheduled to June 29 due to Bonjean’s inability to consult her client. The celebrity defense attorney claimed to be struggling to set meetings with Kelly because of Covid-19 restrictions in federal prison. She also asked for additional time to mitigate with experts to further examine the case. Honorable Judge Donnelly won’t be granting additional postponements.
R. Kelly’s Brooklyn sentencing date will happen prior to Kelly’s trial in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District in Illinois on August 1.