R Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for sexually abusing women, girls and boys. It comes more than 20 years after the singer was first hit with allegations.
This is a major victory for survivors of sexual violence everywhere.
US district judge Ann Donnelly handed down the sentence at the federal court in Brooklyn after hearing from survivors who recounted how Kelly abuse has impacted their lives.
After the sentence was passed down, Donnelly spoke directly to Kelly, saying: “These crimes were calculated and carefully planned, and regularly executed for almost 25 years. You taught them that love is enslavement and violence.”
During the trial, victims described how the singer had subjected them to abuse when they were underage.
Before the sentencing was handed down, several victims made statements in court, including “Angela”, who said that “with every addition of a new victim, you grew in wickedness”.
Today “we reclaim our names”, she added. “We are no longer the preyed-upon individuals we once were.”
In her victim statement, Lizette Martinez said: “Robert, you destroyed so many people’s lives.”
An unnamed victim directly addressed Kelly, who kept his eyes down, and said: “You made me do things that broke my spirit. I literally wished I would die because of how low you made me feel. Do you remember that?”
Kelly did not address the court.
Last September, a jury found Kelly guilty on all nine counts of sex trafficking and racketeering.
Help is available.
If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.
If you’d like to speak to someone about sexual violence, please call the 1800 Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online.
Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.