“R. Kelly used his fame, fortune and enablers to prey on the young, the vulnerable and the voiceless for his own sexual gratification, while many turned a blind eye.”
Kelly, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, was sentenced to 30 years in prison by U.S. District Judge Ann M. Donnelly on Wednesday (June 29) — nine months after a federal jury in New York found him guilty of all nine counts of a superseding indictment, which included racketeering and sex trafficking charges stemming from decades of alleged abuse against several victims.
“R. Kelly used his fame, fortune and enablers to prey on the young, the vulnerable and the voiceless for his own sexual gratification, while many turned a blind eye,” U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement. “Through his actions, Kelly exhibited a callous disregard for the devastation his crimes had on his victims and has shown no remorse for his conduct.”
Peace continued, “With today’s sentence, he has finally and appropriately been held accountable for his decades of abuse, exploitation and degradation of teenagers and other vulnerable young people. We hope that today’s sentence brings some measure of comfort and closure to the victims, including those who bravely testified at trial, and serves as long-overdue recognition that their voices deserve to be heard and their lives matter.”
During the trial, eight Jane Does and two John Does — out of the more than 40 witnesses — recounted traumatic experiences caused by Kelly, 55. The victims’ testimonies were corroborated by the ex-singer’s previous employees and associates.
Steve K. Francis, acting executive associate director of Homeland Security Investigations, said of the sentencing, “Robert Kelly is a prolific serial predator who utilized his wealth and fame to prey on the young and vulnerable by dangling promises of fame, fortune and stardom for his own sexual gratification. For nearly 30 years, Kelly and his accomplices silenced his victims through bribery, intimidation, blackmail and physical violence, confident they were immune to justice. Today’s sentence is a victory which belongs to the survivors of Kelly’s abuse. These brave women and men came forward, despite threats to their own personal safety, and were forced to relive the pain of the most traumatic days of their lives to tell the truth and make their voices heard.”
Kelly has been in prison without bail since 2019.