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Home News R. Kelly jailed for 30 years over sex-trafficking charges

R. Kelly jailed for 30 years over sex-trafficking charges

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At Wednesday’s sentencing hearing, one of Kelly’s alleged victims, Angela, turned to him, according to media reports. “With every addition of a new victim, you grew in wickedness,” she said. “You used your fame and power to groom and coach underage boys and girls for your own sexual gratification.”

Before Kelly’s fall from grace, he was one of the most popular R&B singer-songwriters of the ’90s. For years the recording industry appeared to ignore allegations against him and Kelly seemed untouchable. In 2008, he was acquitted in a child pornography case, in which he was accused of making a sex tape with a minor. The jury cleared the charges after the defense team argued the identity of the girl in the video couldn’t be confirmed.

The Grammy-winning, multiplatinum-selling star continued to churn out hits for years — from “I Believe I Can Fly” to “Step in the Name of Love” — before a social media campaign, #MuteRKelly, began calling for the public to stop financially supporting him. Then in 2019, the six-part Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly” put the singer under more scrutiny.

Kelly also faces various criminal charges in Chicago and Minnesota. In August, he is scheduled to go to trial in Illinois on federal charges of child pornography and obstruction of justice. In that case, Kelly switched defense attorneys, hiring Jennifer Bonjean, who helped free Bill Cosby last year after he served three years of a prison sentence for sexual assault. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in 2020.


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