• Kelly’s conviction has been seen as a victory for survivors of sexual violence, particularly those who may hesitate to speak out against abusers, for fear of retribution.
• Last September, a jury in New York City found Kelly guilty of sex trafficking and racketeering, on all nine counts against him.
• On Wednesday, us district judge Ann Donnelly imposed the sentence at the federal court in Brooklyn after hearing from several survivors who attested to how Kelly’s exploitation reverberated across their lives.
• At the trial, victims had described how Kelly, real name Robert Sylvester Kelly, subjected them to perverse and sadistic whims when they were underage.
• Several said he would demand that they strictly obey rules such as needing his permission to eat or go to the bathroom, and writing “apology letters” that purported to absolve him of wrongdoing.
• Ahead of sentencing on Wednesday, some of the victims made statements, including “Angela”, who said “with every addition of a new victim you grew in wickedness”. On this day of sentencing “we reclaim our names”, she said. “We are no longer the preyed-upon individuals we once were.”
• Kelly did not address the court.
• The singer, whose hits include ignition and I believe I can fly, was represented by Jennifer Bonjean, a lawyer who represented Bill Cosby.
• Kelly’s sentencing came years after sexual misconduct allegations were first made against him. Accusers included his former wife, Andrea Kelly, who said she feared Kelly might kill her.
• He was charged with 21 counts of making child sexual abuse videos involving various sexual acts in June 2002, but was acquitted on all counts following trial in 2008.
• In 2017, an article in buzzfeed brought fresh allegations that Kelly had trapped six women in a sex “cult” having taken advantage of them after they approached him for help with their musical careers.
• Then in January 2019, a six-part documentary titled surviving r Kelly, detailing the allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct against the singer, aired on us TV network lifetime. In the film, accusers wondered if their stories were previously ignored because they were black women.
• Asked about some allegations during a CBS interview in 2019, Kelly memorably shouted at his interviewer, Gayle king, and denied any wrongdoing.