R. Kelly “must be held to account” for 30 years of sexual depravity, prosecutors say

Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

R. Kelly has faced allegations of sexual misconduct for decades. Wednesday will mark the first time he will be punished for them.

Kelly faces much of the rest of his life in prison when he is sentenced in Brooklyn federal court for a racketeering conviction that involved a dozen separate criminal acts, including sex with underage girls.

Kelly was found guilty of leading a criminal enterprise that recruited women and girls for sex. The charges also included a bribery scheme involving a public official to get a fake ID for Aaliyah so the two could get married when she was 15.

“In light of the seriousness of the offenses, the need for specific deterrence and the need to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant, as well as the other factors … the government respectfully submits that a sentence in excess of 25 years is warranted,” federal prosecutors said in a sentencing memorandum.

Nearly four dozen witnesses testified for the prosecution about Kelly and his inner circle of aides, who prosecutors said preyed upon children and young women for his own sexual gratification.

“Kelly relied upon his fame, money and popularity as an R&B recording star and used the large network of people his status afforded him – including his business managers, security guards and bouncers, runners, lawyers, accountants, and assistants to both carry out and conceal his crimes. He continued his crimes and avoided punishment for them for almost 30 years and must now be held to account,” prosecutors said.

Kelly declined to testify at trial but could make a statement during the sentencing hearing. The defense has asked for less than 14 years in prison, citing Kelly’s traumatic childhood. The defense also cast his accusers as motivated by money.

Prosecutors, though, called Kelly’s crimes “calculated” and “methodical,” and said he has shown “no remorse.”

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