Singer R. Kelly sentenced to one year on federal child pornography conviction

February 24, 2023 8:21 am

R. Kelly. [Source: Reuters]

Grammy-winning R&B artist R. Kelly was sentenced to one year in prison after his conviction in Chicago on federal child pornography and enticement charges, local media reported.

Kelly was convicted in September of felony sexual exploitation of a child, enticement of a female and possession of material containing child pornography.

Judge Harry Leinenweber of the U.S. District Court for Northern Illinois ordered the sentence to run consecutively with the 30-year sentence Kelly received last year on a previous federal conviction in New York, the Chicago Sun Times reported in a tweet.

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In that case, Kelly was convicted of multiple felonies including illegal sex with minors and sexual exploitation of minors.

In the federal case in Illinois, prosecutors argued that the singer was so incorrigible that “the only way to ensure Kelly does not re-offend is to impose a sentence that will keep him in prison for the rest of his life.” They want to add another 25 years to his existing 30-year sentence.

Defense attorneys said Kelly, a 56-year-old African American man who suffers from diabetes, was already facing an effective life sentence with a 30-year term. They acknowledged that the judge must impose a sentence of 10 years, but contended that it should run concurrently.

They also questioned why federal prosecutors have dedicated so many resources to prosecuting a Black artist when many of the biggest white stars in rock ‘n’ roll history have been accused of abusing underage girls and “none have been prosecuted and none will die in prison.”

Defense lawyer Jennifer Bonjean alleged a double standard for a Black artist, naming 11 white rock stars in her sentencing memo who have been accused of abusing underage girls and gone unpunished.

Kelly did not address the judge because he still faced prosecution in other jurisdictions and any statement could be used against him, Bonjean said.