Seven women confronted R. Kelly on Wednesday about the abuse he inflicted on them as the multi-platinum R&B singer prepares to face his fate after being convicted of exploiting his fame and fortune for decades to lure women and underage girls into its orbit for sex.
Kelly, 55, was convicted in federal court in Brooklyn last September after a 5 1/2-week trial that added to allegations that have dogged the singer of the Grammy-winning hit “I Believe I Can Fly” since the early 2000s had.
He is among the most prominent people convicted of sexual misconduct during the #MeToo movement against such behavior by prominent men.
At Wednesday’s sentencing hearing in federal court in Brooklyn, women who testified against Kelly spoke about how he promised to mentor them and help them achieve fame, only to subject them to degrading sexual treatment and physical harm. Many said the abuse led to ongoing mental health problems.
“As a teenager, I didn’t know how to say no to R. Kelly when he asked me to perform oral sex on him,” said a woman identified as Jane Doe #2.
She then paused, looked at Kelly and asked, “Remember that?”
Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, has repeatedly denied allegations of sexual abuse.
He wore a black face mask and beige prison garb at Wednesday’s hearing. As some victims spoke, he tapped his arm with his fingers and looked at his attorneys’ notes.
US District Judge Ann Donnelly, who will sentence Kelly, hit him back by saying federal sentencing guidelines recommend that he spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Donnelly has an obligation to consult, but not necessarily follow, the guidelines when imposing a penalty.
Prosecutors said Kelly should serve more than 25 years in prison on charges of racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which bans the transportation of people across state lines for prostitution.
They said he showed a “callous disregard” for his victims and showed no remorse.
Lawyers for Kelly said he earned no more than 10 yearsthe mandatory minimum, argues that his history as an abused child may have led to his adult “hypersexuality” and that he is no longer a risk.
Another victim, Lizzette Martinez, said Kelly sexually assaulted her when she was 17, leaving her in an ongoing battle with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
“Robert, you’ve ruined so many people’s lives and being abused is no excuse,” said Martinez, now a 45-year-old mother.
Kelly also faces federal charges of child pornography and obstruction in Chicago and state charges in Illinois and Minnesota.
‘Do you remember?’ Victims confront R&B singer R. Kelly at sentencing hearing – SABC News
Source link ‘Do you remember?’ Victims confront R&B singer R. Kelly at sentencing hearing – SABC News