Federal prosecutors in the United States have recommended that R Kelly serve at least 25 years behind bars for sexually abusing women and girls.
The disgraced R&B superstar has been found guilty of racketeering and trafficking during a sexual abuse trial in New York last year.
Several accusers testified during the trial, alleging that Kelly subjected his victims to vicious and sadistic abuse when they were underage.
In a sentencing note filed Wednesday, prosecutors said the I Believe I Can Fly singer “preyed on children and young women for his own sexual gratification” for decades and “relyed on his fame, his money and popularity” to do so.
“He pursued his crimes and avoided punishment for them for nearly 30 years and must now be held accountable,” they added.
At the time of his verdict, Kelly said he planned to appeal the decision, but not before he was sentenced.
His attorneys argued he deserved a maximum of around 17 years in prison under a federal sentence and it was initially reported he could face up to 20 years.
But in their memo, prosecutors underlined the seriousness of his offenses by describing them as “calculated, methodical and part of a long-standing pattern” and spoke of the risk that he would commit more crimes if he was released.
“The government has no doubt that if given the opportunity to reoffend, the defendant would do so,” they wrote.
“He poses a grave danger to the public. His actions were brazen, manipulative, controlling and coercive. He showed no remorse or respect for the law.”
Among multiple sordid allegations, jurors heard testimony about a fraudulent marriage scheme designed to protect Kelly after he feared he impregnated R&B artist Aaliyah in 1994 when she was just 15.
Witnesses said they got married in matching tracksuits using a license that incorrectly stated she was 18, when he was 27 at the time.
In the sentencing note, prosecutors said Kelly ‘gathered members of his company to help him bribe a public official so that he could fraudulently and surreptitiously marry Aaliyah’ to try to ‘cover up the abuse and avoid punishment. “.
What are Kelly’s lawyers saying?
A concurrent defense memo suggested the case for a heavier sentence was overstated by falsely claiming the 55-year-old participated in bribing ‘a public aid officer to produce an ID card. identity” that allowed the fictional marriage to continue.
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 her parents innocently entrusted her with helping her in her 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.
Kelly is due to be sentenced on June 29 and he will face a second trial in August which could result in additional convictions and jail time.
In this case, he is charged with possession of child pornography and obstruction of justice.
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