On Wednesday, Prosecutors said that the disgraced R&B singer R. Kelly deserves to spend more than 25 years in prison after being convicted of sex trafficking.
They urged District Judge Ann M Donnelly to make that sentence close to an effective life sentence for the 55-year-old singer. They stressed the gravity of his crimes and how long he escaped the consequences for them.
Here’s what Federal prosecutors wrote in a letter to the judge:
“Kelly exploited his stardom and wealth over a quarter century to lure women and underage girls for sex. Indeed, the defendant’s decades of crime appear to have been fueled by narcissism and a belief that his musical talent absolved him of any need to conform his conduct – no matter how predatory, harmful, humiliating or abusive to others – to the strictures of the law.”
Prosecutors alleged the entourage of managers and aides who helped Kelly meet girls – and keep them obedient – amounted to a criminal enterprise.
Several accusers testified in lurid detail during the trial, alleging that Kelly subjected his victims to perverse and sadistic whims when they were underage.
Kelly used his “fame, money and popularity” to systematically “prey upon children and young women for his own sexual gratification”, prosecutors wrote in the filing.
Prosecutors also said that Kelly’s “actions were brazen, manipulative, controlling and coercive. He has shown no remorse or respect for the law.”
“Put simply, [Kelly’s] crimes were calculated, methodical, and part [of] a long-standing pattern of using his platform as a larger-than-life musical persona and his deep network to gain access to teenagers, many of whom were particularly vulnerable, and then to exploit them for his personal gain and sexual gratification,” prosecutors added.
Daily Wire added a few details:
According to CNN, prosecutors are further seeking for Kelly to pay a fine anywhere from $50,000 to $250,000. They say he abused his position, noting how “musical talent absolved him of any need to conform his conduct — no matter how predatory, harmful, humiliating or abusive to others — to the strictures of the law.”
Further, the filing seeks harsh sentencing that will send a message to other famous people who would engage in crime.
“While the government doubts that the defendant will be deterred, a lengthy sentence of imprisonment will serve to deter others — including those with wealth, fame and the outsized power such status brings — from engaging in similar crimes,” the document reads. “This is particularly so given the high-profile nature of the defendant and the likelihood that the length of his sentence will be widely publicized.”
Reuters noted that Kelly’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, asked the court for a sentence of fewer than 14 years for his crimes.
Kelly is scheduled to be sentenced on June 29 in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.
In all, the seven-man, five-woman jury found Kelly guilty of 12 individual criminal acts involving the racketeering scheme, including sex with multiple underage girls as well as a 1994 scheme to bribe an Illinois public aid official to get a phony ID for 15-year-old singer Aaliyah so the two could get illegally married.
Kelly’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, is expected to file her own sentencing recommendation next week.