R Kelly's lawyer seeks a minimum 10 year sentence for the singer - 'He is not a risk to the public'

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R Kelly's prosecutors seek a minimum 10 years imprisonment for the singer.
R Kelly's prosecutors seek a minimum 10 years imprisonment for the singer.
Antonio Perez

It's D-day for singer R Kelly. Nine months after he was found guilty of running a scheme to sexually abuse women and children, American singer-songwriter Robert Sylvester Kelly is being sentenced today. 

The federal courtroom in New York will decide the fate of the 55-year-old R&B musician as the long-awaited hearing in the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn concludes.

In a Tuesday filing, his legal team said the singer deserves no more than 10 years in prison, stating that R Kelly "is not currently a risk to the public," while prosecutors say the singer should spend more than 25 years in prison due to his lack of remorse and for exploiting his fame.

Read more | R Kelly’s conviction: Why it took 30 years for his survivors to get justice

WHAT HAPPENED? 

He has faced sexual allegations for more than two decades. In 2008 he settled the civil complaints against him and was acquitted in a high-profile criminal case brought against him related to child pornography charges, making this his first criminal charge reports The New York Times

In 2017 and 2019 calls to #MuteRKelly grew accompanied by a campaign, a series of protests and boycotts of his music, and the release of Surviving R. Kelly, a documentary including testimony from several women accusing the singer of abuse.

In September 2021, R Kelly, who has been in jail since 2019, began his trial in federal court in Brooklyn, New York.

Eleven accusers, nine women and two men took the stand over a six-week trial to describe the sexual humiliation and violence they faced at the hands of the pop star. 

The singer, who is famous for the his hit songs I Believe I Can Fly, Ignition and Step In the Name of Love, was also found to have trafficked women between different states in the US. Along with eight counts of sex trafficking, R Kelly was found guilty of racketeering, a charge normally used against organised crime associations.

During the trial, prosecutors detailed how his managers, security guards, and other entourage members worked to assist him.

The court also heard how the singer had illegally obtained paperwork to marry singer Aaliyah when she was 15 in 1994, seven years before the singer died in a plane crash.

Read more | R Kelly's lawyer seemingly admits the singer had 'sexual conduct' with Aaliyah while she was underage

R Kelly's lawyer Jennifer Bonjean attributed R Kelly's actions to his "chaotic" home life as a child. The singer is said to have faced multiple instances of sexual abuse, including by a sister and a male landlord, reports Reuters

His lawyer also represented actor and comedian Bill Cosby, who faced sexual assault charges.

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