Federal prosecutors want R. Kelly sentenced to at least 25 years in prison for sex crimes

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Federal prosecutors have said embattled R&B star R. Kelly should spend at least 25 years in prison for sexually abusing women and girls.

The recommendation comes after a New York jury found the ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ singer guilty of racketeering, including bribery and sexual exploitation of a child, and other counts of indictment during a sex trafficking trial last year.

This Friday, May 9, 2008 file photo shows R. Kelly arriving for the first day of jury selection in his child pornography trial at Cook County Criminal Courthouse in Chicago.
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This Friday, May 9, 2008 file photo shows R. Kelly arriving for the first day of jury selection in his child pornography trial at Cook County Criminal Courthouse in Chicago.
(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

Kelly, 55, is expected to be sentenced on June 29. Prosecutors allege Kelly was running what amounted to a criminal enterprise because his entourage of managers and assistants would help him meet girls and keep them obedient.

Kelly used his “fame, money and popularity” to systematically “prey on children and young women for his own sexual gratification,” prosecutors wrote in a filing.

R. KELLY ASSOCIATE SENTENCED FOR ATTEMPTED INTIMIDATION BY WITNESS

Kelly’s attorneys argued he only deserved a maximum of about 17 years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines.

In this sketch, courtroom artist R. Kelly, left, listens during his trial in New York, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. Kelly, 54, has repeatedly denied accusations that he allegedly went after several alleged victims over a 30-year period.  career highlighted by his mega hit "I believe i can fly."

In this sketch, courtroom artist R. Kelly, left, listens during his trial in New York, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. Kelly, 54, has repeatedly denied accusations that he allegedly went after several alleged victims over a 30-year period. career highlighted by his mega hit “I Believe I Can Fly”.
(AP Photo/Elizabeth Williams)

Several accusers testified at trial that Kelly subjected them to perverted and sadistic tantrums when they were underage.

Kelly is also accused of marrying R&B singer Aaliyah in 1994 when she was just 15. Witnesses said in court that Kelly married her using a license that falsely stated her age as 18 after fears he had gotten her pregnant. Kelly was 27 at the time. Aaliyah was killed in a plane crash in 2001 aged 22.

BILL COSBY’S LAWYERS USING ‘DONKEY KONG DEFENSE’ IN ONGOING SEXUAL ABUSE TRIAL INVOLVING ACCUSED JUDY HUTH

Kelly’s defense team said prosecutors’ arguments for a harsher sentence were overblown by falsely claiming that Kelly participated in bribing “a public aid officer to produce an identity card.” ‘identity’ that allowed the fictional marriage to continue.

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In this June 6, 2019, file photo, singer R. Kelly pleaded not guilty to 11 additional sex-related crimes during a hearing before Judge Lawrence Flood at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago.

In this June 6, 2019, file photo, singer R. Kelly pleaded not guilty to 11 additional sex-related crimes during a hearing before Judge Lawrence Flood at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago.
(E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool)

Kelly’s lawyers also said it was wrong to claim he should get more time because he sexually abused one of his victims – referred to in court as ‘Jane’ – after that his parents innocently entrusted him with helping him in his musical career.

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“The record shows Jane’s parents ordered Jane to lie to the defendant about her age and then encouraged her to seduce him,” the papers say.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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