U.S. federal prosecutors have recommended that R. Kelly stay at least 25 years behind bars for sexually abusing women and girls.
The already embarrassed R&B superstar was found guilty of blackmail and trafficking in a sexual abuse trial in New York last year. Several accusers testified during the trial, claiming that Kelly subjected his victims to perverted and sadistic abuse when they were minors.
In a sentencing memorandum filed Wednesday, prosecutors said the “Believe I Can Fly” singer harmed children and young girls for his decades-old sexual pleasure and relied on his fame, money, and popularity to do so. At the time of his sentencing, Kelly said he planned to appeal, but not until he was sentenced.
His lawyers have argued that he deserves a maximum of about 17 years in prison under the federal sentence and it was initially reported that he could face up to 20 years. But in their memoirs, prosecutors stressed the seriousness of his actions, describing them as “calculated, methodical and part of a long-standing model” and citing the risk that he would commit more crimes if released.
It poses a serious risk to the public. His actions were brazen, manipulative, controlling and coercive. He has shown no remorse or respect for the law.
Among the many heinous allegations, lawyers heard evidence of a fraudulent marriage scheme set up to protect Kelly after he feared he had abused R&B artist Aaliyah in 1994 when she was just 15 years old. In the sentencing memorandum, prosecutors said Kelly “gathered members of his company to help him bribe a government official so that he could fraudulently and secretly marry Aaliyah” in an attempt to ” hide the abuse and avoid punishment ”.