R. Kelly, the R&B superstar best known for his song “I Believe I Can Fly,” deserves at least 25 years behind bars for sexually abusing women and girls, prosecutors said in a memo was filed Wednesday ahead of sentencing later this month.
Last year, a New York City jury found Kelly guilty of fraud and other charges at a sex trafficking trial seen as a special moment in the #MeToo movement. Prosecutors allege that the entourage of managers and aides who helped Kelly meet the girls – and keep them obedient – became a criminal enterprise.
Several accusers testified in great detail during the trial, alleging that Kelly subjected her victims to depraved and brutal acts while they were underage.
Kelly used her “fame, money, and popularity” to “prime children and young women for sexual gratification,” prosecutors wrote in the filing.
“He continued his crimes and avoided punishment for almost 30 years and now must be held accountable,” prosecutors wrote.
Kelly’s attorneys have argued that he only deserves the maximum sentence of about 17 years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines.
Among many grisly charges, jurors heard testimony about a fraudulent marriage plot hatched to protect Kelly after he feared he impregnated R&B phenom Aaliyah in 1994 when she was new. 15 years old. like 18; He was 27 years old then.
Aaliyah worked with Kelly, who wrote and produced her 1994 debut album, “Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number.” She died in a plane crash in 2001 at the age of 22.
The competition defense memo suggested that prosecutors argue for a higher sentence by perjurying Kelly to engage in bribing “a public assistance worker for identification” to authorize the marriage. fake takes place.
Kelly’s attorneys also said it was wrong to insist he should have been given more time because he sexually abused one of his victims – known in court as “Jane” – after his parents She naively entrusts him to help her in her musical career.
“Records show that Jane’s parents directed Jane to lie to the defendant about her age and then encouraged her to seduce him,” the newspaper wrote.
Kelly, 55, will be sentenced on June 29.