US prosecutors on Wednesday said that the multi-platinum R&B singer R. Kelly deserves to spend more than 25 years in prison after being convicted of sex trafficking.
In a filing in Brooklyn federal court, prosecutors said Kelly exploited his stardom and wealth over a quarter-century to lure women and underage girls for sex, demonstrating a “callous disregard” for his victims and showing 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,” prosecutors said.
Kelly, 55, who has been jailed since 2019, remains a “serious danger” to the public, justifying keeping him behind bars until well into his 70s, prosecutors added.
Jennifer Bonjean, a lawyer for Kelly, has said he should spend fewer than 14 years in prison, and will in a filing next Monday explain why his “history and characteristics” justify a shorter sentence.
Bonjean’s office declined to comment.
Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, faces a minimum 10-year term at his June 29 sentencing.
He is among the most prominent people convicted of sexual misbehaviour during the #MeToo movement against such conduct by prominent men, Reuters reports.Kelly’s 5-1/2 week trial amplified accusations that had dogged him since the early 2000s.Testimony from 45 government witnesses, including several of Kelly’s abuse victims, portrayed in often graphic detail an unseemly side to a music career highlighted by the 1996 Grammy-winning smash “I Believe I Can Fly.”