UPDATE: R. Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years on sex trafficking charges that included racketeering.
Disgraced R&B singer R. Kelly is set to be sentenced today (June 29) after being convicted of all nine counts of sex trafficking—he was found guilty of sexually abusing women, boys and girls for years.
The 55-year-old singer is facing 25 years in prison. Federal prosecutors are asking for a maximum sentence in order to “protect the public.” According to The Mirror UK, Kelly’s defense team is asking for a sentence of 10 years or less because he is “not currently a risk.”
The federal government called 45 witnesses during the trial last fall. The witnesses recounted that Kelly and his entourage of managers, bodyguards and others subjected the victims to horrific sexual abuse—including controlling them “physically, sexually, and psychologically” requiring his victims to ask permission to do anything including simply going to the bathroom.
The singer also allegedly kept many of the victims away from their families using blackmail and by forcing them to write self-incriminating letters. Further, he made them call him “Daddy” and recorded many of his sexual encounters. The federal government has labeled Kelly a “predator.”
However, Kelly’s attorney said that the relationships were consensual. “They knew exactly what they were getting into,” his attorney Nicole Blank Becker said. “The relationships Mr. Kelly had with the various Jane Does were consenting relationships.”
Evidence was presented at the trial about Kelly’s marriage to late singer Aaliyah whom he married when she was 15 years old.
The documentary, Surviving R. Kelly, produced by dream hampton detailed the case and gave many of the victims a platform and provided a clear view into Kelly’s deviant and predatory actions. The six-part doc featured interviews from insiders including singer Sparkle who was once contracted by Kelly.
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 August 15.