R. Kelly sentenced to 20 years in prison in Chicago federal sex crimes case

Friday, February 24, 2023
R. Kelly sentenced to 20 years in prison in Chicago federal sex crimes case
R. Kelly was sentenced to 20 years in prison in his Chicago federal child pornography and enticement charges

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A judge sentenced R. Kelly to 20 years in prison in the singer's Chicago federal sex crimes case.

Kelly will serve 19 years of the sentence along with his current sentence in a New York case of 30 years, as well as serve one additional year in prison.

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"A 20-year sentence in this case is impactful," said US Attorney Northern District of Illinois, John Lausch. "That ensures that there will be a significant amount of time that R. Kelly will not be out on the streets to do additional harm to others."

Kelly was sentenced on his convictions of child pornography and enticement in Chicago.

Attorney for R. Kelly victim speaks after singer sentenced

An attorney representing a victim of R. Kelly speaks after the singer was sentenced to prison Thursday.

He was convicted in September on three counts of producing child pornography and three counts of enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity.

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Prosecutors recommended Kelly serve 25 more years, consecutively to his New York sentence. They said he is a sexual predator who used his fame and wealth to abuse his victims, and has shown no remorse.

Kelly's lawyer asked for a sentence of 10 years, serving it at the same time as his New York sentence. The lawyer added Kelly's own abuse as a child justifies leniency.

R. Kelly's attorney speaks after sentencing

An attorney for R. Kelly speaks after the singer was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

"It was the right outcome," said Kelly's attorney, Jennifer Bonjean. "The judge was reasonable and took into account both side and ultimately it was fair."

In court, victims read emotional victim impact statements out load to the court. In their own words , they described the abuse they endured, calling Kelly, "abusive" and "dominating" and a "child predator." They talked about the shame and trauma they continue to feel today.

The woman known as "Paulina" during the trial last year told the court Thursday, "I have lost so much to this. I can never get those years back."

The woman known as "Nia" said, "I felt used. I felt hopeless. And for the next twenty years I wondered what I did wrong."

An attorney representing the woman known as "Jane" read her statement.

During the trial, jurors saw three videos of Jane -- who was a teenager at the time -- and Kelly involved in sexual activity.

"I think it's very clear there were multiple victims associated with R. Kelly and I don't think anyone can say any child could have brought this on themselves," said Christopher Brown, the attorney for "Jane."

"This is not a reckless driving offense, this is not a drug possession," ABC7 Legal Analyst Gil Soffer said. "It's a case involving serious sexual crimes. The judge knows that. I think it is unlikely he is going to buy an argument that he is being treated unfairly

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Kelly declined to speak at the sentencing hearing.

As for Kelly, his attorney plans to appeal this case, as well as the New York conviction.

"I thank the Lord and just praying things go well," said Kelly's uncle, Gregory Preston. "With the appeal and he get free."

Most of the sentence will be served at the same time while Kelly is already serving a 30 year sentence for a conviction in a New York federal court for sex trafficking and racketeering. Kelly was also ordered to pay $42,000 for therapy costs of Pauline.