Disgraced R&B singer R. Kelly has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for a number of child pornography charges, a US federal judge ruled on Thursday, 23rd February. As Associated Press reports, the sentence comes at the conclusion of a six-month trial.
Kelly faced charges for 13 offences relating to the production and receipt of child pornography, along with charges of child sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit fraud.
R. Kelly’s prison sentence extended
The trial began after Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in mid-2022 for federal charges of racketeering and sex trafficking. Prosecutors requested a 25-year prison sentence for Kelly’s child pornography crimes, which they hoped wouldn’t begin until the completion of his prior 30-year sentence.
But Judge Harry Leinenweber sentenced Kelly to 20 years in prison, 19 of which will be served concurrent with the previous sentence, ultimately increasing Kelly’s total prison sentence to 31 years.
The court heard from two of Kelly’s victims on the day of sentencing, with both requesting a harsh sentence for the musician and producer. One victim, who testified under the pseudonym “Jane”, submitted a written statement saying she had been “permanently scarred” by R. Kelly, and that he had effectively stolen her hopes and dreams.
Another victim, known as “Nia,” was in court to address Kelly for his crimes. “Now you are here… because there is something wrong with you,” she was quoted as saying. “No longer will you be able to harm children.”
Kelly has not made a statement relating to the sentence, but appeals for both sentences are reportedly underway.