R Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison for sex trafficking and racketeering
One victim said it's time to "reclaim our names".
Musician R Kelly has officially been sentenced to 30 years in prison after being found guilty on eight counts of sex trafficking and one count of racketeering back in September 2021.
The 55-year-old Illinois-born rapper appeared at a U.S. District Court in Brooklyn today (29 June) after being found guilty nine months earlier. Judge Ann M. Donnelly had just last night denied a request from Kelly's lawyers asking for a retrial and acquittal.
After a brief recess for lunch, one of Kelly's victims, Angela, told the court that he was a "pied piper."
“We reclaim our names,” she said. “We are no longer the preyed-upon individuals we once were.”
Federal prosecutors asked for 25 years in prison and said that the musician has a "long and pervasive history of enticing children to engage in sexual activity." In contrast, Kelly's lawyer Jennifer Bonjean requested the minimum sentencing of 10 years.
Kelly is expected to appeal the verdict after earlier dubbing his lawyers as "unprepared" and subsequently hiring Bonjean, who previously said she is "happy defending anyone" having before represented "serial child rapist killers" and "mass murderers."
Kelly is also facing a child pornography charge in Chicago, with a trial set for August.