Federal prosecutors in New York told a judge on Wednesday, June 8 that R. Kelly is expected to be jailed for more than 25 years after his conviction last year for sex trafficking and racketeering. The singer, they said, "has avoided punishing them for nearly 30 years and now must be held to account."
After decades of accusations of sexual misconduct, Kelly was sentenced in September on nine counts related to accusations that the singer orchestrated a long-running plan to recruit and abuse underage women and girls. He plans to appeal the verdict, but not before he is sentenced on June 29.
In a brief filed Wednesday, prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Brooklyn urged Judge Ann M. Donnelly to make that sentence close to an effective life sentence for Kelly, 55. They cited the seriousness of his crimes and how long he was able to avoid consequences for them.
“Put simply, the defendant's crimes were calculated, methodical and part of a long-standing pattern of using his platform as a larger-than-life musical character and his deep network to gain access to adolescents, many of whom were particularly vulnerable, and then to exploit them for personal gain and sexual gratification.”
They also spoke of the risk that he would commit more crimes if released. "The government has no doubt that if given the opportunity to reoffend, the defendant would do so," prosecutors 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.
Kelly's attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, did not immediately return a request for comment on Wednesday's sentencing memorandum. She will have the opportunity to file a response to the government's brief before Justice Donnelly hands down her sentence.