A judge rejected a call from prosecutors to keep R. Kelly behind bars until he is 100. The sentence means Kelly could still make it alive after serving his sentence.
“The nature of this offence is … horrific,” Leinenweber said in explaining the 20-year sentence. He observed that Kelly’s sexual abuse victims have been scarred indelibly.
“He has a life expectancy of not a hell of a lot more,” the judge said. “He is 56 years of age.”
Kelly’s defence lawyer celebrated the ruling as a victory, and some of the singer’s fans could be heard cheering outside the courtroom.
Kelly remained still, his eyes downcast, as Leinenweber explained what was at times a hard-to-follow sentence. He did seem to show some emotion when a representative read a statement written by “Jane,” one of his accusers and a key prosecution witness.
“I was brainwashed by Robert and a sex slave,” Jane’s statement said. “It almost killed me.”
“It’s the right outcome,” Bonjean said of the sentence after the hearing ended. “The judge was reasonable. He, I think, took into account both sides and ultimately was fair.”
The judge stated during the hearing that he did not accept the government’s position that Kelly wooed underage girls for sex, which significantly determined whether to extend Kelly’s current term.
“The (government’s) whole theory of grooming, was sort of the opposite of the fear of bodily harm,” the judge told the court. “It was the fear of lost love, lost affection (from Kelly)’. … It just doesn’t seem to me that it rises to the fear of bodily harm.”
“When your virginity is taken by a paedophile at 14 … your life is never your own,” Jane’s statement read.
“Nia”, an accuser spoke to Kelly directly in court that Kelly would repeatedly point out her alleged faults while he abused her.
“Now you are here … because there is something wrong with you,” she said. “No longer will you be able to harm children.”
Bonjean accused the government of trying to make her client a scapegoat and offered an “embellished narrative” to convince the judge. She called the government’s “bloodthirsty campaign to make him a poster boy` of the #MeToo movement.”
She echoed that theme Thursday in calling the request for a 25-year consecutive sentence “overkill.”
The singer has suffered enough, including financially, Bonjean said. He was once worth $1 billion, but that he “is now destitute.”
Bonjean berated the constant checks by guards and said it “is in and of itself cruel” and “creates mental health issues.”
“He was expecting this,” she told the judge. “Mr. Kelly … is not suicidal.”
SUPPORT NIGERIAN CANADIAN NEWS
If you like our work and want to keep enjoying what we offer, kindly support us by donating to the Nigerian Canadian News through the button below
Share your thoughts in the comments section below
Do you want to share any news or information with us? If yes, contact the publisher at firstname.lastname@example.org