By Martin Ronoh
AmericanRnB sensation R. Kelly could face decades in jail when he is sentenced on Wednesday, nine months after being found guilty of conducting a sexual abuse network against women and juveniles. The 55-year-old will spend at least 10 years in prison, with the maximum possible sentence being life.
Kelly, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, was convicted of racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which forbids transporting persons across state boundaries for prostitution, last September.
After a six-week trial, the singer was uncovered to be the mastermind of a violent and forceful plot to recruit women and children for sexual assault. He trafficked women between several US states with the help of managers, security guards, and other entourage members for over two decades.
Prosecutors have asked the court to imprison the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer for at least 25 years, claiming that he still “poses a major danger to the public.”
“His actions were brazen, manipulative, controlling, and coercive. He has shown no remorse or respect for the law,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo. “A lengthy sentence of imprisonment will serve to deter others — including those with wealth, fame, and the outsized power such status brings — from engaging in similar crimes,” they added.
Kelly has been detained since July last year. He will most likely be moved to Chicago after being sentenced, where he will face a trial in August on child pornography and obstruction charges. Kelly is also facing state court accusations in Illinois and Minnesota.
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Kelly’s lawyers have however asked for a lenient sentence due to his impoverished and “chaotic” family life as a youngster, which involved many episodes of sexual assault, including by a sister and a male landlord whose identities were blacked out.
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