R. Kelly
Mayukh Saha
Mayukh Saha
June 30, 2022 ·  5 min read

R. Kelly Sentenced to 30 Years in Federal Sex Crimes Case

The US Justice System has sentenced R. Kelly to 30 years in federal prison. The lengthy court battle against the singer consisted of 9 federal charges- which involves human trafficking and sex crimes. It was Judge Ann M. Donnelly of Brooklyn, who announced the sentence. This finally brought an end to one of the highest-profile criminal prosecutions ever conducted by the US Attorney’s office. Incidentally, the disgraced singer knew he could be receiving anywhere from 10 years to life. He also refused to speak out during the sentencing. Reports state that most of the federal prosecutors had asked for no less than 25 years for the singer/songwriter.[1] 

The trial of R. Kelly had been going on for quite some time now- and it did feel like a losing battle. The federal prosecutors had been calling for more witnesses than the defense could produce. His legal team only consisted of Kelly’s accomplices. They were put under oath, and they all stated that they had never seen Kelly abuse anyone. The federal prosecutors, on the other hand, went ahead and brought out multiple witnesses to the stand. They then carefully started poking holes in all the narratives that Kelly’s associates had spouted. Some of the witnesses even stated that it was Kelly’s subordinates who used to round up all of his potential victims. After that, the singer himself groomed them for unwanted sex. 

R. Kelly Receives 3 Decades In Prison

Jovante Cunningham, who testified against R. Kelly- definitely did not pull any of her punches. “With every addition of a new victim, you grew in wickedness. You used your fame and power to groom and coach underage boys and girls for your own sexual gratification.” Another of his victims stated, “You made me do things that broke my spirit. I literally wished I would die because of how low you made me feel.” After that, she directly turned toward Kelly and asked if he ever remembered it. And to this, Kelly had absolutely no answer. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by The National News (@thenationalnews.com)

Lizzette Martinez, one of R. Kelly’s ‘sex slaves’, stated, “I personally don’t think it’s enough, but I’m pleased with it.” Martinez had been groomed by the singer after she met him at a Florida mall when she was 17. Amongst all these comments, Kelly- who was dressed in tan prison garb, dark glasses, and a mask- refused to comment anything. The federal prosecutors had made sure that Kelly was scrutinized as a serial predator.

All of the evidence pointed toward him using his fame to exploit his victims. Breon Peace, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, stated, “R. Kelly used his fame, fortune and enablers to prey on the young, the vulnerable and the voiceless for his own sexual gratification, while many turned a blind eye. With today’s sentence, he has finally and appropriately been held accountable for his decades of abuse, exploitation, and degradation of teenagers and other vulnerable young people.

Read: Bill Cosby learns his fate in sexual abuse civil trial

R. Kelly Created an Environment of Enslavement, Violence, and Humiliation

When Judge Ann read R. Kelly’s sentence, she also mentioned, “These victims were disposable to you and you taught them that love is enslavement and violence and humiliation. This case is not about sex. It’s about violence and cruelty and control. These crimes were calculated and carefully planned and regularly executed for almost 25 years.

Cunningham also went on to state, “You are shameless, you are disgusting and you are self-serving. Today we reclaim our names. We are no longer the preyed-upon individuals we once were.” Cunningham had been able to testify against Kelly last fall- but only under a pseudonym. Another victim, who didn’t give her name, commented, “Robert, you destroyed so many people’s lives.

This announcement became more vitriolic as it was understood R. Kelly was still subjugating them by not even bothering to listen to her. To this, the woman snarled, “I’m sorry. I don’t want to interrupt his conversation. Now it’s your turn to have your freedom taken from you. I hope you go to jail for the rest of your life.” The barbed comments didn’t stop there. Another witness mentioned that the only reason Kelly had married singer Aaliyah back in 1994 was that he was afraid. According to them, the crooner was afraid that he had gotten the minor pregnant. And so he decided to marry her so that she wouldn’t be able to testify against him. 

Some Still Believe the Singer is Innocent- Leading To ‘Free R. Kelly’ Chants

Yet, R. Kelly’s attorney Jennifer Bonjean, went on to claim that Kelly was himself a victim of child abuse. Since he was allegedly nurtured and raised in such an environment, this should be a mitigating factor. “Kelly has been portrayed by the government and the media as a one-dimensional villain, undeserving of any measure of humanity or dignity. This court is charged with considering Kelly’s history and characteristics that reveal that he is not an evil monster but a complex human being who faced overwhelming challenges in childhood that shaped his adult life.” She also informed the reporters that Kelly had plans of appealing the sentence.[2] 

Jocelyn Savage, R. Kelly’s current fiance, was one among the few who submitted multiple letters of support for the predator. “The Robert I know is very sweet, gentle, and kind. At the end of the day, he has made sure that I’m taken care of, and any other women he was with as well. Robert and I are deeply in love and it breaks my heart that the government has created a narrative that I’m a victim.

Federal prosecutors believe that R. Kelly’s actions could be a direct result of his narcissism. In fact, they think that he absolutely believed he was above the law. “Indeed, Kelly’s decades of crime appear to have been fueled by narcissism and a belief that his musical talent absolved him of any need to confirm his conduct- no matter how predatory, harmful, humiliating or abusive to others- to the structures of the law.

Keep Reading: Ghislaine Maxwell Sentenced to 20 Years in Epstein Sex Trafficking Case


  1. GETS 30 YEARS For Federal Sex Crimes.” TMZ. June 29, 2022.
  2. Predator R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years in sex trafficking case.” NY Post. Elizabeth Rosner and Mark Lungariello. June 29, 2022.