Disgraced singer R. Kelly was sentenced on Wednesday to 30 years in prison following his conviction last year for sex trafficking. He had been held at a detention center in New York City while awaiting sentencing.
Last September, Kelly was convicted of racketeering and eight counts of an anti-sex trafficking law that could have seen him sent to prison for the rest of his life.
Kelly’s sentencing came one day after Ghislaine Maxwell, the longtime partner of notorious accused pedophile and billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, was sentenced to 20 years for her own sex trafficking conviction.
While each played separate roles in their respective sex trafficking, both were found guilty in convictions stemming from preying upon minors as a means to secure sexual favors that were not consensual.
Kelly was found guilty of nine criminal counts for sexually abusing multiple underage boys and girls as well as women over the course of more than three decades. The court ruled specifically that he violated the Mann Act, a law that prohibits “the transportation therein for immoral purposes of women and girls, and for other purposes.”
Kelly would use his fame and fortune to lure impressionable young Black people before violating them sexually.
A parade of Kelly’s victims took the stand to testify about horrific accounts of sexual abuse they suffered when they were teenagers before a jury took nine hours to find him guilty on all counts.
“This verdict was a long time coming and although it doesn’t bring automatic healing to his survivors, I hope it brings a sense of closure that can help facilitate the healing process,” #MeToo founder Tarana Burke told iOne Digital following the verdict.
It was not immediately clear at which prison Kelly would be serving his sentence.
Kelly has maintained his innocence.
In Maxwell’s case, the former socialite was found guilty of not just recruiting young girls into Epstein’s stable of unsuspecting sexual conquests but also participating. As the New York Times put it, Maxwell “conspired with Jeffrey Epstein to sexually exploit underage girls” and “played a pivotal role in facilitating a horrific scheme that spanned continents and years.”
The Times added that Maxwell “used wealth and status to exploit and abuse the vulnerable.”
During her sex trafficking trial, a parade of Maxwell’s victims took the stand to testify about horrific accounts of sexual abuse they suffered when they were teenagers before a jury took 40 hours to find her guilty of conspiracy to entice individuals under the age of 17 to travel in interstate commerce with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity, conspiracy to transport individuals under the age of 17 to travel in interstate commerce with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity; transportation of an individual under the age of 17 with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity; and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of individuals under the age of 18.
All of the victims were white. One of the victims previously said under oath in 2015 that Epstein specifically said the girls he preferred “couldn’t be black.”
The judge admonished Maxwell before sentencing her on Tuesday.
“The damage done to these young girls was incalculable,” Federal District Court Judge Alison J. Nathan told the 60-year-old Maxwell.
Prosecutors had asked Nathan to sentence Maxwell to 30 years.
In spite of the severity of her crimes, Nathan recommended that Maxwell serve her sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut, which is minimum security and has housed celebrities like Lauryn Hill and one of the “Real Housewives of New Jersey.”
“If the conviction is upheld, Ms. Maxwell, with potential credit for good behavior and the two years she has spent in jail, could leave prison in her 70s,” the Times reported.
Maxwell “did not express remorse or accept responsibility” for the crimes for which she was convicted, the Times added.
R. Kelly Gets Longer Sentence Than Ghislaine Maxwell After Separate Sex Trafficking Convictions was originally published on newsone.com