IMAGE – SEBASTIAN KIM/GQ
- Federal prosecutors have asked for a sentence “in excess of 25 years” after the former R&B artist was convicted of racketeering and other crimes in New York last year.
- His lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, has argued that the government’s understanding of the appropriate sentencing range is flawed and has asked for a sentence of under 10 years.
Singer R. Kelly could face decades in prison when he is sentenced on Wednesday, nine months after being found guilty of running a scheme to sexually abuse women and children.
In September, a New York jury convicted the disgraced pop star of racketeering and eight counts of sex trafficking.
The 55-year-old R&B singer will spend at least 10 years in prison, with the maximum possible sentence being life.
Prosecutors have said he should spend at least 25 years behind bars.
The singer – known for the hit songs I Believe I Can Fly and Ignition (Remix) – was found to have been the ringleader of a violent and coercive scheme to lure women and children for him to sexually abuse.
The six-week trial heard how he trafficked women between different US states, assisted by managers, security guards and other entourage members, over two decades.
Prosecutors said he showed a “callous disregard” for his victims and showed no remorse.
“Indeed, the defendant’s decades of crime appear to have been fueled by narcissism and a belief that his musical talent absolved him of any need to conform his conduct – no matter how predatory, harmful, humiliating or abusive to others – to the strictures of the law,” they said.
The court also heard how Kelly had illegally obtained paperwork to marry singer Aaliyah when she was 15 in 1994, seven years before the singer died in a plane crash.
The certificate, leaked at the time, listed Aaliyah’s age as 18. The marriage was annulled months later.
After several delays, he will be sentenced at the US District Court in New York on Wednesday.
Kelly is separately facing trial in Chicago on child sex images and obstruction charges. He is also due to face sex abuse charges in Illinois and Minnesota.