R. Kelly, the disgraced R&B singer who was found guilty back in September on nine counts of racketeering and sex-trafficking charges in New York City, will find himself behind bars for the next 30 years. With one count of racketeering, Kelly’s other eight counts were for violating the Mann Act, an anti-sex-trafficking statute.
The sentencing was rendered in a Brooklyn courtroom on Wednesday (June 29).
Ahead of the ruling, Kelly’s lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, told Judge Ann M. Donnelly not to sentence the 55-year-old “based on inflamed emotions,” as reported by The New York Times. Bonjean also tried to use Kelly’s upbringing as a means to get his sentence reduced, citing that he “grew up in a highly chaotic home” with a single mother and he personally “rejects that’s he’s this monster.”
Judge Donnelly told Kelly directly, “the public has to be protected from behaviors like this.” She added, “These crimes were calculated and carefully planned and regularly executed for almost 25 years. You taught [your victims] that love is enslavement and violence.”
In light of this, Judge Donnelly stated the sentence is one that would’ve been instituted despite guidelines.
Kelly declined to make a statement in court, prior to sentencing. Judge Donnelly previously stated that if a lighter sentence were to be issued, Kelly would be “unlikely to be deterred from further sexually abusing and exploiting children and others.”
Kelly’s Chicago trial in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois begins on August 1.