A judge sentenced R&B singer R. Kelly to 30 years in prison on sex trafficking and racketeering charges at a New York City court on Wednesday.
Judge Ann M. Donnelly told Kelly during his sentencing, “These crimes were calculated and carefully planned and regularly executed for almost 25 years. You taught them that love is enslavement and violence.”
Federal prosecutors were looking for a sentence in excess of 25 years, which they got. Meanwhile, his defense team argued for less than 10 years – a request that was denied.
“He is not an evil monster but a complex (unquestionably flawed) human-being who faced overwhelming challenges in childhood that shaped his adult life,” Kelly’s lawyer Jennifer Bonjean said.
Many of his victims also took the stand today to address the singer directly. Most of them using fake names to keep their real identities anonymous.
“With every addition of a new victim, you grew in wickedness,” a woman named Angela said according to The New York Times. “You used your fame and power to groom and coach underage boys and girls for your own sexual gratification. I pray that God reaches your soul.”
Another woman, Lizzette Martinez, said, “I do not know how to put a price on all I’ve gone through. I am now 45, a mother, and I struggle with mental health. Robert, you destroyed so many people’s lives.”
Kelly still faces more charges in Illinois and Minnesota.