Prosecutors request 25-year sentence for R. Kelly

The "Ignition" singer is facing a minimum of 10 years in prison after a jury convicted him of racketeering and sex trafficking.

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Federal prosecutors in New York want R. Kelly to serve 25 years in prison after a Brooklyn jury convicted him in September on nine charges in his racketeering and sex trafficking trial.

As reported previously by theGrio, the 55-year-old singer was charged with eight counts of violating the Mann Act, an anti-sex-trafficking statute and one count of racketeering.

This photo from, May 9, 2008, shows R. Kelly arriving for the first day of jury selection in his child pornography trial at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

According to PEOPLE, prosecutors noted in a 31-page filing submitted to the Eastern District of New York that Kelly’s “decades of crime” and a “callous disregard for the very real effects that his crimes had on his victims,” warrant a lengthy prison sentence as well as a fine between $50,000 to $250,000. 

“The defendant’s decades of crime appear to have been fueled by narcissism and a belief that his musical talent absolved him of any need to conform his conduct – no matter how predatory, harmful, humiliating or abusive to others – to the strictures of the law,” prosecutors added in their filing, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

They describe Kelly’s alleged crimes as “brazen, manipulative, controlling and coercive,” claiming that the hitmaker “has shown no remorse or respect for the law.”

“Put simply, [Kelly’s] crimes were calculated, methodical, and part [of] a long-standing pattern of using his platform as a larger-than-life musical persona and his deep network to gain access to teenagers, many of whom were particularly vulnerable, and then to exploit them for his personal gain and sexual gratification,” PEOPLE reports.

Kelly was acquitted in 2008 of 14 counts of child pornography. Per theGrio, in 2019, federal agents took him into custody on charges of sending child pornography across state lines, kidnapping, abuse, and forced labor. The Brooklyn trial featured more than 50 witnesses, including young women and a man who alleged that the artist sexually abused them over two decades.

R Kelly Chicago jail attack thegrio.com
Singer R. Kelly appears during a hearing on Sept. 17, 2019 at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Antonio Perez – Pool via Getty Images)

Kelly’s 1994 marriage to late singer Aaliyah was also at the center of the case.  Prosecutors accused Kelly of marrying the songstress when she was 15-years-old and he was 27 to prevent her from testifying against him, theGrio previously reported. The illegal marriage was annulled by her parents.

Brooklyn Assistant District Attorney Maria Cruz Melendez claimed that Kelly believed Aaliyah was pregnant with his child and wanted to prevent legal consequences.

“So, the defendant and his circle came up with a plan, a plan that the defendant thought would keep Aaliyah from talking and a plan that would keep him out of jail if anyone found out,” Melendez said. “… The defendant decided that he needed to marry Aaliyah. That way, as far as he understood, if anyone found out about the pregnancy, about his sexual activity with her, Aaliyah could not talk. In other words, if she’s his wife, then she can’t testify against him, or so he thought.”

In a second trail scheduled for Aug. 1 in Chicago, the singer faces child pornography and obstruction of justice charges.

Kelly’s sentencing for his New York crimes is scheduled for June 29.  He faces a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum life sentence. His attorney is reportedly seeking a 14-year sentence or less. 

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