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R. Kelly Sentenced to twenty Years for Child Sex Crimes

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CHICAGO — A federal judge on Thursday sentenced R. Kelly to twenty years in prison for child sex crimes, after a jury found that he had produced three videos of himself sexually abusing his 14-year-old goddaughter.

In a victory for the defense, the judge ruled that every one but one yr of the prison sentence can be served concurrently a previous 30-year sentence that Mr. Kelly received after a jury in Brooklyn convicted him of racketeering and sex trafficking charges.

The jury in Chicago convicted Mr. Kelly of six of the 13 charges brought against him in reference to sexual abuse in the course of the Nineties, including counts of coercing three minors into sexual intercourse and three of manufacturing sex tapes involving a minor. He was acquitted of a charge that he had attempted to obstruct an earlier investigation into his abuse of the goddaughter, and two other counts of enticing minors to have sex.

Federal prosecutors had argued that Mr. Kelly, 56, deserved 25 years in prison on top of his earlier sentence, citing the singer’s “lack of remorse” as a reason he would pose a danger to society if released.

“The one option to ensure he won’t reoffend is to impose a sentence that can keep him in prison for the remaining of his life,” Jeannice Williams Appenteng, one in all the prosecutors, said in court on Thursday.

A lawyer for Mr. Kelly, Jennifer Bonjean, argued that her client was “prone to die in prison either way,” but that if he didn’t, he wouldn’t pose a threat in old age.

Judge Harry D. Leinenweber agreed, saying in court that he didn’t think Mr. Kelly can be prone to commit the identical type of crimes in his 80s. The judge acknowledged that he would have dealt a heftier sentence if the Chicago trial had come first.

As within the trial, Mr. Kelly remained mostly silent in the course of the sentencing hearing, declining to talk on his own behalf. Making an allowance for a possible early release because of excellent behavior, Mr. Kelly could walk out of prison in his late 70s.

The ruling caps a lengthy legal battle in Chicago, where Mr. Kelly was once widely viewed with pride as a product of town’s South Side. In 2008, he was acquitted on charges of manufacturing child sexual abuse imagery of his goddaughter, with some jurors telling reporters that that they had been influenced by the dearth of testimony from the young woman. She had denied to a grand jury that she was the person in an infamous tape that prosecutors said showed Mr. Kelly sexually abusing and urinating on her.

But in last yr’s federal trial, which followed a resurgence of scrutiny over Mr. Kelly’s treatment of ladies and young women in response to the documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” the girl took the stand, identifying herself because the underage girl being abused in three videos, snippets of which were shown to the jury.

In Thursday’s hearing, a lawyer for the girl — identified in court as Jane — read a press release about how the repeated sexual abuse affected her life, asking that Mr. Kelly be put in jail for “so long as the law allows.”

“I’ll never give you the option to unsee the kid pornography,” she said within the statement, which was read by her lawyer, Christopher Brown. “No amount of therapy will make me normal.”

Ms. Bonjean, who said she was appealing the convictions in each Brooklyn and Chicago, had lobbied for the minimum 10-year prison sentence, arguing that Mr. Kelly had suffered his own history of sexual abuse as a baby and that he had mental disabilities that “shed some light on why he engaged in inappropriate relationships.”

The extra sentence reduces the possibility that Mr. Kelly would get out of prison even when his defense team wins its appeal of the Brooklyn conviction. He still faces sex crimes charges in Minnesota, which have been on hold in the course of the federal trials. State prosecutors in Illinois recently dropped sexual abuse charges against him, citing the previous convictions.

Judge Leinenweber also ordered Mr. Kelly to pay one in all the sexual abuse victims $42,000 in restitution for therapy bills, denying it to the goddaughter and the third woman whose account led to a conviction. The lady who was ordered to receive the cash — referred to in court as Pauline — had testified that Mr. Kelly sexually abused her repeatedly when she was a teen, sometimes concurrently the goddaughter.

The third woman, known as Nia in the course of the trial, addressed Mr. Kelly directly within the courtroom on Thursday, recounting how she met him as a “star-struck teenager” asking for an autograph in a mall but ended up “completely damaged” after the sexual abuse.

“I’m not a vengeful or hateful person,” the girl said in court, “but I highly suggest you spend your time in prison reflecting.”

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