R. Kelly Sentenced In Chicago Trial; Expected To Be Eligible For Release When He Is 80

R. Kelly

Judge said he will be old and broke, and unable to woo girls like he once did.

Disgraced singer R. Kelly has just received his sentencing for crimes committed over decades against girls, boys, and women in Chicago.

On Thursday, Feb. 23, U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber sentenced the man, who once called himself R&B’s Pied Piper, to an additional year consecutive to his 30-year term out of federal court in New York, and 19 concurrent years on convictions related to child pornography and sexual conduct with minors, according to the Chicago Tribune.

This was a strategic move. A longer sentence in Cook County would make sure the artist/ producer would remain behind bars if his New York conviction was ever overturned on appeal. 

The judge also believes that with such a long sentence, Kelly likely not re-offend if he ever gets out.

“He was grooming young girls when he was in his 20s, he was a millionaire and he was a superstar,” Leinenweber said. “… Few girls would be susceptible to his charms as an 80-year-old with no money and no prospects.”

Others commented, including the prosecution.

“(Kelly) for decades has been sexually abusing girls intentionally and with willful disregard, meaning he knew what he was doing was wrong and criminal and he did it anyway,” Assistant United States Attorney Jeannice Appenteng said.

The Grammy Award-winning artist’s lawyer Jennifer Bonjean said her client wanted to speak out but she has advised him not to. She reminded the press that he was a victim of sexual trauma as a young person also, and that “shaped his view of women, shaped his view of sex, shaped his view of the world.”

“I think you don’t need to be a Ph.D. to connect the dots here,” she said.

The key witness in the trial, R. Kelly’s former goddaughter “Jane,” had a statement read by her attorney in the court.

She wanted for her abuser to spend “the balance of his natural born life” in prison for what he did to her.

“When your virginity is taken by a pedophile at the age of 14 and you live for him, your life is never your own,” attorney Christopher Brown read from Jane’s statement. “I will never be able to unsee, unthink or be unaffected by the child pornography I was enticed to engage in. I thought Robert loved me. To do the things he did, he in fact loathed me.”

Jane was only one of the victims that spoke out. Probably the most notable. She was featured in the video that was at the center of the 2008 trial that he was acquitted of, AllHipHop.com reports.

The current Chicago federal trial lasted for five weeks and featured some 34 witnesses. 

Bonjean, who was key in getting Bill Cosby free from jail, is appealing Kelly’s conviction and sentence in Brooklyn’s federal court. The lawyer also plans to appeal Kelly’s conviction in Chicago to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.