R. Kelly has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after being convicted of possession of child pornography and more.
The disgraced singer, 56, will serve 19 of those years at the same time as his current 30-year sentence, Judge Harry D. Leinenweber ruled in Chicago federal court on Thursday, February 23. Only one year of prison time will be added on to his overall sentence.
The musician, who was previously convicted of racketeering and sex trafficking in September 2021, was sentenced on Thursday on three counts of producing child pornography and three counts of enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity. He was convicted of the crimes in September 2022.
When announcing Kelly’s sentencing on Thursday, the judge stated, “Sentencing should be sufficient but not greater than necessary” and noted that “everybody agrees that the nature of this offense is horrible, horrific,” per NBC News.
He added: “No matter what I do Mr. Kelly is not going out the door in the next 10 years, in the next 20 years,” Leinenweber told the court. “One of the things we should bear in mind, he is 56 years old and as [Kelly’s lawyer] Ms. Bonjean points out, he has a life expectancy of not a helluva lot more.”
The outlet also reported that supporters of Kelly were in the courtroom when his sentencing was announced. He acknowledged them with a wave and a nod when they shouted their cries of support.
Prior to his sentencing, an attorney for one of Kelly’s victims read her heart-wrenching statement.
“I have lost my dignity due to Robert Kelly. I have lost my dreams due to Robert Kelly. I have lost my teenage years to Robert Kelly,” the lawyer, Christopher Brown, read in the courtroom, per CNN.
The woman, called “Jane,” identified herself as the teenage victim in the video in which Kelly urinated on her.
“I will forever be the girl that R. Kelly peed on,” Jane wrote in the statement, per Brown. Prosecutors claimed that the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer made explicit videos with four out of five of the victims in this case.
The “Ignition” singer was convicted on the child pornography and enticement counts in September 2022 after a three-week trial and a 10-hour deliberation by the jury.
Despite his own conviction, Kelly’s codefendants — his former accountant and business manager Derrel McDavid and former assistant Milton Brown — were acquitted after pleading not guilty.
If you or anyone you know has been sexually abused, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). A trained staff member will provide confidential, judgment-free support as well as local resources to assist in healing and recovering and more.