Singer R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years for his role in sex trafficking. The hearing where he was convicted was bittersweet, as a number of victims spoke of their abuse at Kelly’s hand.
KAMPALA | NOW THEN DIGITAL — R. Kelly, an American singer-songwriter, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for sex trafficking. His hearing was bittersweet since many victims of the singer’s abuse spoke of the abuse that they suffered at the hands of the star.
- During R Kelly’s trial for sex trafficking, many victims spoke out about the horrific abuse they suffered from the pop star. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
- Among the singer’s alleged victims is the late singer Aaliyah, who was just 15 when she and the singer briefly got married in 1994.
- In addition, Kelly was found to have abused children in his home, but he steadfastly denied the allegations. The judge ruled that the accusers should receive justice.
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However, Kelly’s legal team maintained that his sexual conduct was consensual, and his business was based on music.
While this may be true to a certain extent, Kelly’s harrowing testimony shows how much victims still fear for their safety.
Victims of R. Kelly’s abuse
The abuse of young women was rampant in the R. Kelly era, which led to allegations that the singer had engaged in a “cult.”
The New York Times reported on parents’ concerns about Kelly, and the Lifetime docuseries, “Surviving R. Kelly,” detailed the claims made against the former R&B singer.
The book asked the accusers if their stories were dismissed because they were Black women. Nevertheless, despite the widespread condemnation, R. Kelly’s career went on to survive.
The singer, meanwhile, was charged with aggravated child sex abuse and racketeering.
The judge cited the rape victims’ testimony as evidence in a case against the singer. A jury convicted R. Kelly on all of the sex charges against him, along with a conspiracy to commit sex crimes.
A judge ruled that Kelly had committed sexual abuse by enticing and abusing dozens of young victims. Kelly’s lawyers have said that the singer deserved to be jailed for more than 25 years, but have not yet decided whether to appeal the verdict.
The judge also said that the singer’s cult-like behavior had a negative impact on the sex-industry. This was cited in the federal case.
The judge also said that Kelly abused young children in his home, The singer adamantly denied these claims, and the court ruled that the accusers should receive justice.
The case carries a high stake for R. Kelly, and it has sparked widespread protests.
Before the sentencing, several women issued victim impact statements detailing Kelly’s pattern of abuse. Angela, who was sexually assaulted as a teenager, described Kelly as a “pied piper,” luring the children to his trap.
She compared him to Jerry Lee Lewis, a famous actor who married a 13-year-old cousin of his.
Victims’ harrowing testimonies
The judge considered the copious evidence presented at the trial of R. Kelly, including the harrowing testimonies of 11 victims who were coerced into sexual acts with the singer.
The government also presented hours of audio and video recordings of the abuse, including one where Kelly sullied a woman’s waste.
Another victim said that R. Kelly coerced her into having sex with him under the threat of a gun. In addition, the government presented videos of him performing sex acts with women who were locked in his studio.
The harrowing testimonies of victims at the trial were incredibly disturbing. Kelly’s attorneys portrayed his accusers as promiscuous girlfriends and abused women.
They portrayed them as desperate women who merely wanted to gain fame by rapping. But these victims’ testimonies pushed back hard, revealing that Kelly had a criminal enterprise that was a product of the society’s lack of sexual boundaries.
Even though R Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison, many still remain confused. The case isn’t over, but this sentencing decision represents a monumental victory for the #MeToo movement.
The verdict follows the conviction of Harvey Weinstein for sexual misconduct. As the victims testified, Kelly’s crimes have left a lasting mark on the #MeToo movement, but a long road lies ahead.
In addition to the harrowing testimonies of the women who were abused by R. Kelly, new evidence showed that he also tried to bribe several state and county employees, including his niece Aaliyah.
It was the only way to prevent the rape from acquittal. Victims said that Kelly made videos of their encounters and threatened them if they didn’t like it.
Kelly’s legal team argues that his sexual conduct was consensual
R. Kelly’s legal team has argued that his sexual conduct with the women he slept with was not abusive. The singer’s alleged victims include late singer Aaliyah, who was only 15 when they briefly married in 1994.
After the singer paid her flight expenses to the concert, Faith began to visit Kelly. In addition to sexual abuse, she claims that Kelly made her feel “less than,” and she went to a doctor.
The lawyers for Kelly argued that all of the relationships were “conducive, beautiful, and mutually respectful” and that the accusers had only seen media coverage of the events.
In addition, Kelly’s legal team argued that the accusers were former fans who sought him out for fame and cash. While the jury has yet to rule on the allegations against the singer, their arguments are compelling.
Despite the overwhelming evidence, the trial is complicated. In addition to sex with underage girls, Kelly is accused of engaging in multiple sexual encounters with a 16-year-old girl.
The child pornography case against him in 2008 led to the rapper’s conviction on multiple counts. His legal team argues that the sexual interactions were consensual, and that his sexual conduct with Pace was “conducive.”
The judge ruled that Pace was 16 at the time, although she initially told him she was 19 – making the allegations against him all the more compelling. The case has become a landmark legal issue for R. Kelly.
The trial included video evidence of the alleged sex acts between Kelly and the alleged victim. Prosecutors argued that the sexual acts weren’t consensual, citing testimony by the accusers without using their real names.
Ultimately, Kelly was found guilty on all counts. At the trial, Kelly’s legal team argued that the sex was consensual.
Kelly’s business was engaged in music
Despite accusations of financial trouble, R. Kelly has remained active in the music industry. In July 2011, JPMorgan Chase filed for foreclosure on Kelly’s suburban Chicago mansion.
Kelly’s spokesman denied the rumors. Kelly has also announced the revival of his classic video series “Trapped in the Closet.”
The rap opera started out as five videos of dramatic cliffhangers, but evolved to include several dozen musical chapters dealing with deception and sexual deceit.
Its revival aired on IFC and was performed live at Bonnaroo music festival.
In 2004, Kelly had six No. 1 albums and was still popular, even before the “Chappelle’s Show” sketch addressed his sex tape.
Kelly’s melodramatic song cycle, “Trapped in the Closet,” was released, which was praised by diehard fans and embraced by tastemakers.
The rapper also collaborated with Jay-Z on a new album, but it was canceled after the two megastars clashed over the song.
Despite the allegations, Kelly’s career continued to grow online.
While the Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly” turned public opinion against the singer, his music sales have remained steady.
In the United States, his songs have garnered 780 million audio streams. His songs are promoted by hundreds of official playlists and draw millions of listeners each month. There’s also no sign of his music being removed from streaming services.
While the R. Kelly Enterprise centered on music, it also preyed on teenagers and young women. Using his celebrity to lure victims, Kelly and his business facilitated their aberrant behavior.
His indictment charges include racketeering and kidnapping. The investigation uncovered the activity and led Sony/RCA to cut ties with R. Kelly.
The music label he founded has since dropped Kelly.
Kelly’s relationship with Aaliyah
In August 1994, R. Kelly married 15-year-old Aaliyah D. Haughton in a secret Chicago ceremony. Despite the fact that Aaliyah’s age was a factor, the marriage was annulled in 2004.
Aaliyah later died in a plane crash when she was 22 years old. In January 2008, Tiffany Hawkins filed a lawsuit against R. Kelly alleging that the singer had abused her and made her feel uncomfortable.
During the trial, Kelly was found not guilty on 14 counts of child exploitation, but the girl’s family refused to testify against him. She was unable to defend herself and failed to respond to powerful victim impact statements.
Aaliyah’s legal defense attorneys claimed that Kelly and Aaliyah married illegally in order to protect their relationship.
However, the singer later admitted to bribing an employee to obtain a fake ID for Aaliyah. Smith also claimed that Kelly cheated on her when she was 15.
In addition, she allegedly told Kelly that she had been impregnated before their marriage and he did not have the proper documentation to prove it.
The two reportedly had a long and troubled relationship, and the two were accused of child pornography. However, the singer was acquitted of the charges, and he has since returned to the spotlight.
While the two were allegedly involved in the alleged child pornography video, the footage was so grainy that it could not be verified as a genuine recording. After one day of deliberations, the jury found him not guilty.
The rape trial was the result of an extensive investigation into R. Kelly’s relationships with Aaliyah. The prosecution laid out a comprehensive case for the singer, calling on 45 witnesses.
The prosecutors argued that the singer conducted an “enterprise” and exploited his power, wealth, and fame.
In the end, the jury found Kelly guilty on all nine counts.