A federal judge in Illinois has sentenced disgraced R&B singer R. Kelly to 20 years in prison for child sex crimes.
On Thursday (Feb. 23), U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber handed down the sentence after the “I Believe I Can Fly” crooner was found guilty in late 2022 on three counts each of producing child pornography and enticing a minor into criminal sexual activity, as reported by the Chicago Sun-Times. However, Leinenweber did allow 19 of those years to be served concurrently with Kelly’s current prison sentence of 30 years for a federal racketeering case in New York.
In all, it looks like the 56-year-old will be locked up well into his 80s.
“No matter what I do, Mr. Kelly isn’t going out the door after today,” Leinenweber said. “He’s not going out the door in the next 10 years, he’s not going out the door in the next 20 years.”
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Prosecutors initially sought a non-concurrent 25-year sentence. However, Leinenweber believes that Kelly would not be a threat at his advanced age when he is eventually released. “Eighty-year-olds are more interested, not in grooming young women, but on their prostate and other factors that go into the aging process,” he said.
Along with an additional year in prison, the judge also ordered that Kelly pays $42,000 in restitution to one of the victims in the case, known as “Pauline” during the trial. The claims of the other two victims, identified as “Jane” and “Nia,” were denied due to them having settled with Kelly in a civil case.
Kelly’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, said earlier that additional time behind bars would be “overkill.” She plans to appeal the sentence.
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