R. Kelly Denied Motions for Acquittal and New Trial, Prosecutors Requesting Additional 25 Years in Prison
On Thursday, Chicago Federal Judge Harry Leinenweber denied all motions for acquittal and a new federal trial for R. Kelly.
Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2022 on nine counts that included “sexual exploitation of children” and “transportation of women and girls in interstate commerce to engage in illegal sexual activity.”
On February 4, lawyers for Kelly submitted a motion for a new trial, arguing that the trial’s key witness, who claimed she was unsure about whether she would seek monetary damages, misled the jury. Less than two weeks later, the motion was denied.
Kelly will be sentenced on February 23 as scheduled.
In addition to the 30 years he recently started serving in a New York case, federal prosecutors requested that a court sentence Kelly to an additional 25 years in prison.
When the judge accepts Kelly’s 25-year sentence and another government request that he begins serving his Chicago sentence after serving the 30-year sentence in New York, the 56-year-old wouldn’t be eligible for release until he was around 100 years old.
According to the recommendation submitted to the United States District Court in Chicago Thursday, Kelly was described as “sadistic” and a “serial sexual predator” who “poses a serious danger to society.”
The filing says, “The only way to ensure Kelly does not reoffend is to impose a sentence that will keep him in prison for the rest of his life.”
Even with his current 30-year New York sentence, Kelly’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, stated in a filing last week that “Kelly would have to defy all statistical odds to make it out of prison alive.”
At the low end of the sentencing guidelines range, she suggested a term of around ten years, which she claimed could be served concurrently with the New York sentence.
Bonjean said that Kelly, who is Black, was singled out for behavior that white rock stars have allegedly gotten away with for decades in her defense of the lighter sentence.
“None have been prosecuted, and none will die in prison,” she wrote.
While the prosecutors acknowledged that a 25-year sentence in the Chicago case would exceed even sentencing guidelines, they argued that imposing such a sentence after the New York sentence was appropriate.
“A consecutive sentence is eminently reasonable given the egregiousness of Kelly’s conduct,” the filing argued. “Kelly’s sexual abuse of minors was intentional and prolific.”
Last year in Chicago, the disgraced singer was convicted on three child pornography charges and three counts of child enticement.
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