R Kelly Jail Term Extended Over Child Sex Crime
American R&B icon, R Kelly will serve extra time in prison, a federal judge in Chicago ruled on Thursday.
The disgraced super star was slammed with a 20-year prison term over charges of possessing child sex abuse images and enticement of a minor.
R Kelly is already serving a 30-year prison sentence on racketeering and sex trafficking charges, which he was given by a federal court in New York City.
US District Judge Harry D. Leinenweber in Chicago said 19 years of the 20-year extra prison term could be served simultaneously with the New York sentence.
After he finishes the New York term, Leinenweber said, Kelly would serve one additional year in jail, giving him 31 years in prison in total. With Thursday’s sentence, Kelly will be eligible for release at around age 80.
Leinenweber rejected the government’s claims that Kelly had used fear as a weapon to solicit young girls for sex.
Earlier, there was controversy going into the sentencing in Kelly’s home town, Chicago, on whether Leinenweber would order that the 56-year-old serve the sentence simultaneously with or only after he completes the New York term for 2021 racketeering and sex trafficking convictions. That would have been tantamount to a life sentence.
A lengthy term served only after the New York sentence could have erased any chance of Kelly getting out of prison alive. Prosecutors have asked for that, arguing that his crimes against children and lack of remorse justified it.
Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, first rose to prominence in the 1990s. He earned three Grammy Awards for his songs “Bump N’ Grind,” “Ignition (Remix)” and “I Believe I Can Fly,” which was featured in the 1996 basketball film “Space Jam.”
He has been nominated for 26 Grammy Awards in all, including as recently as 2015.
His 2002 song “Ignition (Remix)” also topped the charts not only in the US, but also Australia, New Zealand, and several other countries.
Embattled R Kelly was a subject of intense public outrage and campaign with a gripping documentary which features some of his victims leading to his trial and sentence. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, Kelly faced further allegations of wrongdoing in a 2017 BuzzFeed article and in the January 2019 Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly.”
Kelly has also lost his fame and wealth as a result of the case.