R. Kelly to see if he actually gets a life sentence

A federal judge is set to convict singer R. Kelly of his child pornography and seduction convictions in Chicago


Feb 23, 2023 1:05 am

CHICAGO– A federal judge will on Thursday sentence R. Kelly to his Chicago convictions for child pornography and seducing a minor into sex when the 56-year-old singer learns if he faces the rest of his life behind bars or has some hope of getting out alive.

The key question for the judge at the hearing in Kelly’s hometown of Chicago is whether to grant prosecutors’ request to wait until Kelly completes his 30-year sentence, which was handed down in New York last year on racketeering and sex trafficking charges became.

A sentence Kelly has to serve back-to-back would be tantamount to life imprisonment.

Prosecutors concede that a lengthy sentence following the New York verdict would virtually wipe out any chance of Kelly ever leaving prison alive. They say the Grammy winner’s crimes against children and his lack of remorse justified it.

They recommend a 25-year sentence, served consecutively. That would make him eligible for release in 2066, a year before his 100th birthday. The defense wants a sentence of around 10 years, served simultaneously.

If Judge Kelly allows his new sentence to be served at the same time as the New York sentence, he will serve no more than 30 years and should be released around the age of 80 – giving him hope of one day being able to live outside of prison again to lead.

A Chicago jury last year convicted Kelly on six of 13 counts — three counts of manufacturing child pornography and three counts of soliciting underage sex. Kelly was cleared of the charge because he alleged that he successfully tampered with his 2008 state child pornography trial.

Kelly rose from poverty in Chicago to become one of the world’s greatest R&B Stars. Known for his hit song “I Believe I Can Fly” and sex-inspired songs like “Bump n’ Grind,” he sold millions of albums even after allegations of his abuse of girls became public in the 1990s.

In filing files, prosecutors described Kelly as “a serial sexual predator” who used his fame and fortune to solicit and then discard celebrity-loving fans for sexual abuse.

Kelly’s attorney Jennifer Bonjean accused prosecutors of offering an “embellished narrative” about Kelly and trying to get the judge to join the government’s “bloody campaign to make Kelly a symbol of the #MeToo movement.”

Bonjean said Kelly has suffered enough, including financially. She said his worth once approached $1 billion, but he was “penniless now.”


Follow Michael Tarm on Twitter at https://twitter.com/mtarm


For more information on AP’s coverage of R. Kelly’s trials, visit https://apnews.com/hub/r-kelly

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