Singer R. Kelly could face decades in prison if he is sentenced on Wednesday, nine months after being found guilty of orchestrating a scheme to assault women and children sexually.
In September, a New York jury indicted the disgraced pop star on eight counts of racketeering and sex trafficking. The 55-year-old R&B singer will spend at least ten years in prison, with life’s maximum possible sentence.
Prosecutors have said he should have spent at least 25 years behind bars. His legal team has argued that he is not entitled to more than a decade’s minimum sentence because he “does not currently pose a risk to the public”.
The singer, known for the hit songs I Believe I Can Fly and Ignition (Remix), was found to be the mastermind of a violent and coercive scheme to woo women and children for sexual exploitation.
The six-week trial heard how he smuggled women between different US states for more than two decades with the help of managers, security guards and other crew members.
Prosecutors said he showed a “callous disregard” for his victims and no remorse.
“Indeed, the defendant’s decades of crime appear to have been fuelled by narcissism and a belief that his musical talent absolved him of any need to conform his conduct – no matter how predatory, harmful, humiliating or abusive to others – to the strictures of the law,” they said.
The court also heard how Kelly had illegally obtained paperwork to marry singer Aaliyah when she was 15 years old in 1994 when the singer died in a plane crash.
Alia’s age was stated to be 18 in the leaked certificate. The marriage was annulled months later. After several delays, he will be sentenced in the US District Court in New York on Wednesday.
Kelly is facing a separate trial in Chicago on charges of child sex images and obstruction. She is also due to face sexual abuse charges in Illinois and Minnesota.