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R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison in sex case

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R. Kelly was sentenced on Wednesday to 30 years in prison, following the multiplatinum R&B singer’s conviction for exploiting his stardom and wealth over decades to lure women and underage girls into his orbit for sex.

The sentence was imposed nine months after Kelly, 55, was convicted of racketeering and sex crimes, in a trial that amplified accusations that had dogged the singer of the Grammy-winning hit “I Believe I Can Fly” for two decades.

Kelly kept his head down as the verdict was read, with his face shielded by a white mask.

A woman watching from an overflow courtroom cried as the verdict was read, as did others who had waited to learn Kelly’s fate in a park adjacent to the courthouse. One supporter played the singer’s music there, including the song “Shut Up.”

Deveraux Cannick, a lawyer for Kelly, told reporters that the defense was disappointed. “I’m sure we’ll be appealing,” he said.

Kelly faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years behind bars, and could face up to life in prison at his May 4, 2022, sentencing.

The singer, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, is one of the most prominent people tried on sex charges during the #MeToo movement, which amplified accusations that had dogged him since the early 2000s.

Like Kelly, many of his accusers were Black, differentiating the case from recent #MeToo convictions of comedian Bill Cosby and movie producer Harvey Weinstein. Cosby’s conviction was overturned in June.

Source: Reuters.com

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