R Kelly sentencing - live: Disgraced artist gets 30 years in prison for sex trafficking

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·27 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

R&B Singer R Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years in prison following a conviction in federal court last year on sex trafficking and racketeering charges.

Appearing in court on Wednesday, the disgraced singer remained silent as he heard from some of his accusers who gave victim impact statements recounting their experiences with the singer.

Prosecutors had called for R Kelly to receive more than 25 years behind bars in order to “protect the public” from the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer. He was convicted on nine counts last September, which included one racketeering and eight counts of Mann Act violations.

Gloria Allred, who represented the three women who testified against R Kelly, told reporters that “no one can undo the harm that has been done to these victims,” which his lawyer’s denied.

The acting associate director off Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) who announced Kelly’s sentencing meanwhile called the singer a “prolific serial predator who utilised his wealth and fame to prey on the young and vulnerable by dangling promises of fame, fortune and stardom for his own sexual gratification.”

Key points

  • R Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison

  • Victim says he used fame and influence to ‘groom’ victims

  • Second victim gives statement, says R Kelly sexually assaulted her the first night she met him

  • Third victim gives impact statement

  • ‘I hope you go to jail for the rest of your life’: Fourth victim speaks out

  • Why did R Kelly get a longer sentence than Ghislaine Maxwell?

Why did R Kelly get a longer sentence than Ghislaine Maxwell?

22:54 , Oliver O'Connell

Disgraced R&B singer R Kelly was sentenced to thirty years in prison on Wednesday following his conviction for sex trafficking and racketeering.

In response to this news, many compared his sentencing to that of Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell, who received twenty years in jail for her sex trafficking conviction.

One Twitter user wrote: “Can someone please explain to me how R Kelly received a prison sentence 10 years longer than Ghislaine Maxwell?”

Holly Bancroft investigates:

Why did R Kelly get a longer sentence than Ghislaine Maxwell? A legal expert explains

Journalist who covered early allegations reacts to sentence

22:30 , Gino Spocchia

Jim DeRogatis, the first journalist who covered R Kelly’s alleged crimes in 2000, was among those who reacted on Wednesday to his sentencing.

He told ABC’s RN Breakfast programme that the R&B singer would probably not have been convicted and sentenced if he still had money and fame and was at the height of his career.

“I’m not so sure we would have seen the conviction or the sentencing today if he still had the money and fame that he had at the height of his powers through the 90s, through the 2000s,” DeRogatis said.

“He’s broke. As he sang in the last song he released to the world: I am a broke ass legend.”

The journalist added: “Justice is bought in America too frequently by money and fame and that’s what happened when he was first tried for making child pornography in 2008.”

Mr DeRogatis broke the story about the infamous video tape, which showed the singer allegedly abusing and urinating on a 14-year-old girl.

Victims ‘grateful’ for 30 year sentence

21:30 , Gino Spocchia

R Kelly’s victims were divided in their opinion of his sentence of 30 years, but said they were “grateful” that the disgraced R&B singer was “away and will stay away”.

Speaking outside court following the verdict two women, who remained anonymous while reading their victim impact statements to the court, said they were “proud” of one another.

Kelly was handed the sentence after being convicted on charges of racketeering and sex-trafficking in September last year, Mike Bedigan reports:

Victims have mixed feelings about 30-year sentence for R Kelly

Kelly to go on trial in Chicago

20:30 , Gino Spocchia

The disgraced singer will again face a trial which could extend his time in prison further in Chicago, where he was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008. by a jury.

Kelly will again faces charges of child pornography, of luring children into sex acts, and of trying to influence the outcome of his earlier case when his trial begins on 15 August.

The Illinois city is his hometown.

Opinion: For Black women like me, there is no justice and no peace

19:30 , Gino Spocchia

Following the conviction of R Kelly in September, Nylah Burton wrote that the 55-year-old being found guilty was a long wait for Black women like herself.

“The majority of people Kelly abused were Black women and girls, some as young as 12 years old. Because of that they were seen by many as disposable and not worthy of protection.”

“Knowing that it has taken 25 years — nearly my entire life — for Kelly to face any semblance of accountability is so deeply depressing.”

Continue reading here:

R Kelly has been found guilty — but for Black women like me, there is no justice

What do R Kelly’s lawyers say?

18:30 , Gino Spocchia

R Kelly didn’t testify at his trial in September, but lawyers representing the disgraced R&B singer portrayed his accusers as “girlfriends” and “groupies” who went along with his sexual acts.

Those claims were dismissed by the court, which found the disgraced music artist guilty on multiple counts. A different team of lawyers representing Kelly had recently argued he should get no more than 10 years in prison. He was instead sentenced to 30 years on Wednesday.

His lawyers had blamed a traumatic childhood “involving severe, prolonged childhood sexual abuse, poverty, and violence” on the 55-year-old’s behaviour more than two decades ago, when his crimes were said to have been committed.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press

ICYMI: What was R Kelly sentenced for?

17:30 , Gino Spocchia

The disgraced R&B singer had faced a string of allegations before being found guilty in September of racketeering and the sexual exploitation of a child and sex trafficking – among other charges.

Kelly, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, sat motionless as he was convicted of those charges last year. He again remained silent during his sentencing on Wednesday.

Graeme Massie has more:

What was R Kelly accused of and how much jail time did he get?

Opinion: R Kelly’s decades of abuse tell a story that never ends

16:30 , Gino Spocchia

“Wealth, power, racism and misogyny protected the R & B star, and we are a long way from dismantling the culture that enables predators and abusers”, writes Fiona Sturges in the opinion piece below:

R Kelly’s decades of abuse tell a story that never ends

Judge says ‘horrors’ were ‘no price too high’

15:30 , Gino Spocchia

“The horrors your victims endured,” said US District Judge Ann Donnelly during Wednesday’s sentencing. “No price was too high to pay for your happiness.”

According to trial testimony, R Kelly gave several of his victims were underage at the time of their encounters with the singer, who denied ordering his accusers to sign nondisclosure forms (otherwise known NDAs).

“Boys and girls” were allegedly subjected to threats and punishments if they broke what one referred to as “Rob’s rules”, prosecutors heard during his trail last year.

The R & B singer was also accused of shooting “shaming videos” of his victims.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press

Opinion: R Kelly’s prison sentence is the least men like him deserve

14:30 , Gino Spocchia

“Something is very, very rotten in the cult of male celebrity”, writes The Independent’s Victoria Richards in the opinion piece below.

“Because it doesn’t end with the abuse. This behaviour has a ripple effect that lasts decades; not just for the victims themselves, but all those who see what men like this can get away with for so long – and assume they can do the same.”

Continue reading here...

Opinion: R Kelly’s prison sentence is the least men like him deserve

Sentencing is product of MeToo movement

13:30 , Gino Spocchia

The sentencing of R Kelly to 30 years in prison is yet another triumph for women’s rights activists, and a product of the “MeToo” movement.

Sexual misconduct allegations against R Kelly were not made public until the emergence ofthe “MeToo” movement on Twitter in 2006, when several women came out to say they had been abused by high profile male figures.

The allegations against Kelly reached a tipping point in 2019 after the release of the documentary “Surviving R. Kelly”, after which he was charged by state judges for aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Federal prosecutors then charged the R & B singer with sex trafficking and racketeering, and his trail took place last year, where he was found guilty.

Sentence is justice for Black women

12:30 , Gino Spocchia

R Kelly’s victims believed their stories were orginally being ignored because they were Black women.

Speaking outside the court on Wednesday where he was sentenced, one unnamed survivor said: “There wasn’t a day in my life, up until this moment, that I actually believed that the judicial system would come through for Black and brown girls”.

Prosecutors had heard from women who told the court how the R & B singer forced them into “obedience” and other “horrors”.

“I hope this sentencing serves as its own testimony that it doesn’t matter how powerful, rich or famous your abuser may be or how small they make you feel — justice only hears the truth,” said US Attorney Breon Peace, as the Associated Press reported.

ICYMI: R Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison on sex trafficking and racketeering conviction

11:30 , Gino Spocchia

R&B singer R Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years in prison on sex trafficking and racketteering convictions.

He was convicted in 2021.

Graig Graziosi reports:

R Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison on sex trafficking, racketeering conviction

'R. Kelly used his fame, fortune and enablers to prey on the young, the vulnerable and the voiceless,' lawyer says

10:30 , Sravasti Dasgupta

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York who announced R Kelly’s 30-year-prison term on Wednesday along with Steve K. Francis, Acting Executive Associate Director, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) said that the singer “used his fame, fortune and enablers to prey on the young.”

Read his full statement while announcing the sentence here:

“R. Kelly used his fame, fortune and enablers to prey on the young, the vulnerable and the voiceless for his own sexual gratification, while many turned a blind eye.

“Through his actions, Kelly exhibited a callous disregard for the devastation his crimes had on his victims and has shown no remorse for his conduct. With today’s sentence he has finally and appropriately been held accountable for his decades of abuse, exploitation and degradation of teenagers and other vulnerable young people. We hope that today’s sentence brings some measure of comfort and closure to the victims, including those who bravely testified at trial, and serves as long-overdue recognition that their voices deserve to be heard and their lives matter.”

Breon Peace (C), the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, walks to a press conference outside of the United States Courthouse after former R&B singer R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison after his conviction last year on federal racketeering and sex trafficking charges in the Brooklyn borough of New York, New York, USA, 29 June 2022. (EPA)
Breon Peace (C), the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, walks to a press conference outside of the United States Courthouse after former R&B singer R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison after his conviction last year on federal racketeering and sex trafficking charges in the Brooklyn borough of New York, New York, USA, 29 June 2022. (EPA)

R Kelly conviction: All you need to know

10:00 , Sravasti Dasgupta

R&B singer R Kelly, 55, was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Wednesday, 29 June, in Brooklyn federal court.

US District Judge Ann Donnelly also slapped Kelly with a $100,000 fine, after prosecutors asked for $50,000 to $250,000.

The Independent’s Graeme Massie explains what the singer was convicted of and how much jail time did he faces:

What was R Kelly accused of and how much jail time did he get?

09:30 , Sravasti Dasgupta

‘Thirty years that he did this and 30 years is what he got,’ victim saysR Kelly was branded “the pied piper of R&B” by a victim using the pseudonym “Angela” who went on to detail his “deplorable and inexplicable” abuse during her statement.

“I stand here very proud of my judicial system, very proud of my fellow survivors and very pleased with the outcome.

“Thirty years (is how long) that he did this and 30 years is what he got,” she later said outside court.

Victims have mixed feelings about 30-year sentence for R Kelly

Kelly conviction would be unlikely 'if he still had the money and fame,' journalist says

08:30 , Sravasti Dasgupta

Jim DeRogatis, the first journalist who covered R Kelly’s alleged crimes in 2000 said to ABC’s RN Breakfast that the singer would probably not be convicted and sentenced if he still had money and fame.

“I’m not so sure we would have seen the conviction or the sentencing today if he still had the money and fame that he had at the height of his powers through the 90s, through the 2000s,” he said on RN Breakfast following the sentencing.

“He’s broke. As he sang in the last song he released to the world: I am a broke ass legend.

“Justice is bought in America too frequently by money and fame and that’s what happened when he was first tried for making child pornography in 2008.”

Mr DeRogatis broke the story about the infamous video tape, which showed the singer allegedly abusing and urinating on a 14-year-old girl.

 (Getty Images for BET)
(Getty Images for BET)

Kelly's sisters say singer treated 'unfairly'

08:00 , Sravasti Dasgupta

R Kelly’s two sisters from his father’s side have said that they believe that the singer has been treated unfairly.

Lisa and Cassandra Kelly, live in North Carolina and Atlanta attended the sentencing on Wednesday.

“He’s been strong. He’s gonna continue to be strong. We’re his sisters, we’re gonna continue to stand behind him,” Lisa Kelly told Insider.

“And that’s just the way it is. We don’t believe any of that.”

In this courtroom sketch, R Kelly and his attorney Jennifer Bonjean, left, appear during his sentencing hearing (Elizabeth Williams/PA) (AP)
In this courtroom sketch, R Kelly and his attorney Jennifer Bonjean, left, appear during his sentencing hearing (Elizabeth Williams/PA) (AP)

R Kelly's lawyer says singer wanted to speak at his sentencing

07:30 , Sravasti Dasgupta

Jennifer Bonjean, lawyer for R Kelly, said that the singer wanted to speak in court at his sentencing but she advised him against it.

Speaking to reporters outside court, Ms Bonjean said that she didn’t want him to speak while he has open cases in Chicago and Minnesota.

Another case, involving child pornography and similar allegations, is scheduled to go to trial in Chicago federal court in August, reported Business Insider.

“I promise you, he does wanna make a statement,” Ms Bonjean said.

“He will make statements, but on the advice of counsel, he remained silent.”

Attorney Jennifer Bonjean leaves the courtroom following the sentencing of singer R. Kelly for federal sex trafficking (REUTERS)
Attorney Jennifer Bonjean leaves the courtroom following the sentencing of singer R. Kelly for federal sex trafficking (REUTERS)

R Kelly's lawyer says victims 'preyed on him'

07:00 , Sravasti Dasgupta

Attorney Steve Greenberg who represented singer R Kelly has accused the victims of ‘preying’ on the singer.

In an interview with Law & Crime Mr Greenberg said: “They preyed on him. And for them to now come to court and say they are victims is just being intellectually dishonest.”

Watch:

R Kelly victim says 30-year-prison term is 'spot on'

06:30 , Sravasti Dasgupta

Sonja, a victim of R Kelly’s abuse who testified in court, has hailed the singer’s prison term.

In an interview with Los Angeles Times after the sentencing, Sonja, whose last name is not being revealed to protect her identity, said that she was intimidated by people in the singer’s circle for years.

“I’ve been followed, I’ve been approached at networking events,” she said.“It happened a few different times.”

On each occasion she says she immediately got away from the person who was chatting with her and went “off the grid for a few days.”

“Thirty years is spot on for me,” she said.

“I have been enduring this for almost two decades. I am very happy with the sentence. Very happy.”

R&B singer R. Kelly's supporter reacts following the sentencing hearing at Brooklyn Federal Court in New York, on June 29, 2022. (AFP via Getty Images)
R&B singer R. Kelly's supporter reacts following the sentencing hearing at Brooklyn Federal Court in New York, on June 29, 2022. (AFP via Getty Images)

R Kelly's victims say 30 year sentence 'not enough'

06:00 , Sravasti Dasgupta

R Kelly’s victims have said that the 30 year prison term handed to the singer, while welcome, is “not enough.”

“I personally don’t think it’s enough but I’m pleased with it,” said accuser Lizzette Martinez.

Another victim Jovante Cunningham, who first met Kelly at age 14, said his abuse spanned 30 years and “30 years is what he got.”

“There wasn’t a day in my life that I actually believed the judicial system would come through for black and brown girls,” Ms Cunningham said outside court.

Ms Cunningham who was a former backup dancer for Kelly added that she “absolutely” cried when the sentence came down and that she felt “overwhelmed.”

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

R Kelly a 'prolific serial predator' who preyed on the 'young and vulnerable'

05:15 , Sravasti Dasgupta

Steve K Francis, acting executive associate director of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) who announced R Kelly’s sentencing, has called the singer a “prolific serial predator.”

“Robert Kelly is a prolific serial predator who utilised his wealth and fame to prey on the young and vulnerable by dangling promises of fame, fortune and stardom for his own sexual gratification. For nearly thirty years, Kelly and his accomplices silenced his victims through bribery, intimidation, blackmail and physical violence, confident they were immune to justice” Mr Francis said.

“Today’s sentence is a victory which belongs to the survivors of Kelly’s abuse. These brave women and men came forward, despite threats to their own personal safety, and were forced to relive the pain of the most traumatic days of their lives to tell the truth and make their voices heard.”

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

R Kelly will face a second trial in August

04:00 , Graig Graziosi

R Kelly will face another trial, this time in federal court, beginning in August.

On 15 August, R Kelly will stand trial on charges that he possessed child sexual abuse images. It will be the second time he faces charges relating to child sexual abuse images.

He was previously acquitted in 2008 on similar charges.

Kelly has pleaded not guilty.

EXPLAINER: What was R Kelly convicted of and how much jail time did he get?

03:00 , Sravasti Dasgupta

R Kelly is facing a potential quarter century in prison.

What brought R Kelly to this point, and what is the context surrounding his arrest, conviction, and eventual sentencing?

The Independent’s Graeme Massie explores and explains the circumstances and crimes that led R Kelly to today’s ruling.

Read the story below:

What was R Kelly accused of and how much jail time did he get?

ICYMI: Victims accuse R Kelly of ‘deplorable, inexplicable acts’ in harrowing sentencing impact statements

02:00 , Graig Graziosi

Seven women who were abused by R Kelly spoke Wednesday during his sentencing hearing, recounting the pain they have dealt with as a result of the singer’s crimes.

With every addition of a new victim you grew in wickedness, cockiness, diminishing any form of humanity or self-awareness,” one victim said during the hearing.

Jenna Amatulli has more from the victims in the story below:

R Kelly accused of ‘deplorable, inexplicable acts’ in sentencing impact statements

WATCH: R Kelly is sentenced to 30 years in prison for sex trafficking and racketeering

01:00 , Graig Graziosi

ICYMI: R Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison for sex trafficking and racketeering

Thursday 30 June 2022 00:00 , Graig Graziosi

R&B singer R Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years in prison on sex trafficking and racketeering charges.

Read more in the story below:

R Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison on sex trafficking, racketeering conviction

R Kelly’s attorney Steve Greenberg says sentencing is an ‘abuse’ of prosecution

Wednesday 29 June 2022 23:00 , Graig Graziosi

R Kelly’s attorney Steve Greenberg told Law and Crime that the singer’s 30-year prison sentence is an ‘abuse’ of prosecution.

Watch his comments in the clip below:

Lizzette Martinez, who gave a victim impact statement during the sentencing hearing, said she hoped R Kelly would get a harsher sentence

Wednesday 29 June 2022 22:30 , Graig Graziosi

Lizzette Martinez, a suvivor of R Kelly’s abuse and who gave a victim impact statement during his sentencing hearing, said the singer kept her as a “sex slave.”

“I personally don’t think it’s enough but I’m pleased with it,” she told reporters after the ruling.

WATCH: Lizzette Martinez speaks after R Kelly sentencing

Wednesday 29 June 2022 22:15 , Graig Graziosi

Lizzette Martinez, who gave a victim impact statement during the sentencing hearing, spoke after the ruling.

She said she never imagined she would see R Kelly brought to justice.

R Kelly’s attorney says she plans to appeal 30-year prison sentence

Wednesday 29 June 2022 22:00 , Graig Graziosi

Jennifer Bonjean, R Kelly’s lawyer, said she plans to appeal the singer’s 30-year prison sentence.

Kelly was convicted on sex trafficking and racketeering charges in 2021.

Watch Ms Bonjean’s announcement in the clip below:

Victims’ attorney says they wanted court to ‘understand their pain'

Wednesday 29 June 2022 21:40 , Graig Graziosi

Attorney Gloria Allred, who represented the victims in the R Kelly sentencing, told reporters after his sentencing that her clients “wanted the court to understand their pain.”

“Together they were able to fight his power by becoming empowered,” she said. “I’m proud of all of them.”

She said that her clients are “relieved he has been sent to prison.”

Homeland Security Investigations official calls R Kelly a ‘prolific serial predator'

Wednesday 29 June 2022 21:30 , Graig Graziosi

Steve Francis, acting executive associate director for Homeland Security Investigations, said R Kelly is a “prolific serial predator, who utilized his status as a Grammy Award-winning household name with global recognition to inflict pain and anguish on so many victims.”

“Today’s sentencing sends a message that no amount of money or fame is enough to evade justice,” Mr Francis said. “Money, power and fame will not buy you immunity.”

He described the ruling as a victory for survivors and a vindication for their decades of abuse.

“Despite intense public scrutiny, despite social media slander, despite threats to their own health and safety, and despite being asked to relive the pain from the most traumatic points in their lives, they told their stories and they may their voices heard,” he said

Mr Francis said that “Kelly underestimated the bravery and resilience of those he once preyed upon when they were young and vulnerable.”

WATCH: R Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison

Wednesday 29 June 2022 21:20 , Graig Graziosi

US Attorney calls R Kelly a ‘predator’ following sentencing

Wednesday 29 June 2022 21:10 , Graig Graziosi

Breon Peace, the US attorney for the Eastern District of New York, spoke with reporters after R Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison for racketeering and sex trafficking.

“R Kelly is a predator,” he said. “He continued committing his crimes for almost 30 years and avoided punishment – until today. These are the voices of mostly Black and brown women and children who were heard and believed. Justice was finally achieved. This is a victory for them, for justice, and victims of sexual assault. Victims must be heard, perpetrators must be held accountable, and women and children must be protected.”

He said he hopes the sentencing shows that “it doesn’t matter how rich [and] famous” an abuser is to be brought to justice.

Judge tells R Kelly he taught victims that ‘love is enslavement and violence'

Wednesday 29 June 2022 20:56 , Graig Graziosi

U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly sentenced R Kelly to 30 years in prison on Wednesday.

Following her ruling, she told the singer that he used the promise of love as a vehicle for abuse.

“You had a system in place that lured young people into your orbit, and then you took over their lives... You taught them that love is enslavement and violence,” she said.

R Kelly’s lawyer said he was ‘prepared’ for ruling

Wednesday 29 June 2022 20:50 , Graig Graziosi

R Kelly’s lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, told reporters he was “prepared” for his sentencing today. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison for his sex trafficking and racketeering convictions.

She told reporters that he is “not a predator.”

“He has regrets and he is sad,” she said. “He disagrees with the characterizations that have been made about him.”

R Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison

Wednesday 29 June 2022 20:09 , Graig Graziosi

R&B singer R Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years in prison on sex trafficking and racketeering charges.

Read more in the story below:

R Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison on sex trafficking, racketeering conviction

R Kelly’s hearing resumes

Wednesday 29 June 2022 20:03 , Graig Graziosi

R Kelly’s sentencing hearing has resumed after an hour break.

The singer’s lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, argued to the court that R Kelly should be sentenced based on the nature of his conviction in September and not based on “inflamed emotions” invoked by the victim impact statements given prior to the break.

The defense is focusing its arguments for a lighter sentence around the singer’s upbringing in an abusive home.

Ms Bonjean told the court that the singer was the son of a single mother and grew up in a “chaotic home.” She said he was sexually abused and that those experiences were critical to who he became in adulthood.

She said “Mr Kelly rejects that he’s this monster.”

Victims accuse R Kelly of ‘deplorable, inexplicable acts’ in harrowing sentencing impact statements

Wednesday 29 June 2022 19:24 , Graig Graziosi

Seven women who were abused by R Kelly spoke Wednesday during his sentencing hearing, recounting the pain they have dealt with as a result of the singer’s crimes.

With every addition of a new victim you grew in wickedness, cockiness, diminishing any form of humanity or self-awareness,” one victim said during the hearing.

Jenna Amatulli has more from the victims in the story below:

R Kelly accused of ‘deplorable, inexplicable acts’ in sentencing impact statements

Hearing breaks until 2:30pm EST

Wednesday 29 June 2022 18:31 , Graig Graziosi

R Kelly’s sentencing hearing has paused until 2:30pm EST.

Prior to the break, seven women gave victim impact statements recounting how the singer abused them.

Victims says she’ll take what R Kelly did to her ‘to my grave'

Wednesday 29 June 2022 18:30 , Graig Graziosi

Kitti Jones, another victim giving a statement during R Kelly’s sentencing hearing, said she would take the things he did to her “to my grave.”

After her, another woman, going by the name Faith, took the stand and said she hoped R Kelly can forgive himself. She said that she had forgiven herself and began to cry, after which her father put his arms around her shoulder.

He then spoke and asked R Kelly to look at him.

“I didn’t come here to bash Mr. Kelly,” he said. “I do want to ask you, Mr. Kelly, to look at me, man to man, father to father. Put yourself in my shoes. I’ve certainly put myself in your shoes.”

Mr Kelly did not meet his gaze.

‘I hope you go to jail for the rest of your life’: Fourth victim speaks out

Wednesday 29 June 2022 18:20 , Graig Graziosi

A fourth victim issued a statement during R Kelly’s sentencing hearing on Wednesday.

The woman was known only as Jane Doe No 2, and said R Kelly would often force her to perform oral sex on him after he would return covered in sweat from basketball games with his friends.

“I felt special, because someone who was special to the world was interested in me,” she said.

A tense moment occurred during her statement when R Kelly began speaking with his lawyers during her statement. The victim stopped speaking and directed her attention to the singer.

“I’m sorry, I don’t want to interrupt his conversation,” she said. “No price is too high to pay for your happiness.”

She then said she hoped that he would be imprisoned for the rest of his life.

Third victim gives impact statement

Wednesday 29 June 2022 18:10 , Graig Graziosi

A third victim gave a statement during R Kelly’s sentencing hearing on Wednesday. Lizette Martinez was an aspiring singer when she met R Kelly and was later featured in a documentary called “Surviving R Kelly.”

She said R Kelly had agreed to mentor her as a singer, but that relationship became abusive about two months after they began meeting.

“I was left in shock, confused and in tears,” she said.

She said now, as a 45-year-old mother, she struggles with mental health issues stemming from her abuse at the singer’s hands.

Ms Martinez told R Kelly that he “destroyed so many people’s lives.” He did not look at her during her statement.

‘Do you have your passport’: R Kelly asks Ethiopian women to return to the US with him after breakup

Wednesday 29 June 2022 18:00 , Graig Graziosi

R Kelly has been convicted on sex trafficking and racketeering charges and is facing sentencing today. Prosecutors are seeking 25 years, while his defense is asking for 10 or less.

In this clip from 2011, R Kelly can be seen performing a song at a show in Ethiopia in which he asks women if they want to return to the US with him. The song contains lines including “do you have your passport, did you get your shots,” and “girl would you like to come back with Rob to America?”

Second victim gives statement, says R Kelly sexually assaulted her the first night she met him

Wednesday 29 June 2022 17:55 , Graig Graziosi

A second victim, going by the name Addie, gave an impact statement ahead of R Kelly’s sentencing on Wednesday.

“I never knew that going to that concert in September of 1994 was going to change me forever,” she said.

Addie said she was a fan of the singer Aaliyah, who R Kelly married illegally when she was 15.

She said that she attended his concert and that later that night he sexually assaulted her.

Addie said she kept the assault quiet for decades because it was a “time of silence,” but noted that the “last four years have been a rude awakening of how my silence has hurt others.”

R Kelly victim says he used fame and influence to ‘groom’ victims

Wednesday 29 June 2022 17:37 , Graig Graziosi

One of the victims giving a victim impact statement ahead of R Kelly’s sentencing today said he used his celebrity to “groom” underage girls and boys.

“With every addition of a new victim, you grew in wickedness,” the victim, named Angela, said. “You used your fame and power to groom and coach underage boys and girls for your own sexual gratification.”

“Today we reclaim our names,” she said. “We are no longer the preyed-upon individuals we once were. I pray that God reaches your soul.”

R Kelly fan charged after allegedly threatening prosecutors

Wednesday 29 June 2022 17:14 , Graig Graziosi

A superfan of R Kelly has allegedly threatened the prosecutors seeking to put the R&B singer away for a quarter of a century.

Christopher Gunn, 39, of Bolingbrook, Illinois, was charged after he allegedly posted a YouTube video expressing his plans to “storm” the US Attorney’s office in Brooklyn.

If convicted, the fan faces up to five years in prison.

R Kelly sentencing: What was R&B singer accused of and how much jail time will he get

Wednesday 29 June 2022 16:32 , Graig Graziosi

R Kelly is facing a potential quarter century in prison.

What brought R Kelly to this point, and what is the context surrounding his arrest, conviction, and eventual sentencing?

The Independent’s Graeme Massie explores and explains the circumstances and crimes that led R Kelly to today’s ruling.

Read the story below:

What was R Kelly accused of and how much jail time will he get

Welcome to the liveblog

Wednesday 29 June 2022 16:17 , Graig Graziosi

Welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of R&B singer R Kelly’s sentencing hearing.

Prosecutors are pushing for R Kelly to receive 25 years in prison after he was convicted of sex trafficking and racketeering last year.

R Kelly’s defense attorneys are hoping a judge will consider his abusive childhood and give him only 10, arguing that 25 is effectively a life sentence for the 55-year-old singer.