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R. Kelly back in court in fight over child support payments

Source: Chicago Tribune / Getty

Federal prosecutors want R. Kelly behind bars for 25 years or more. According to the New York Daily News, federal prosecutors filed a sentencing memo in Brooklyn federal court on June 8, saying he shouldn’t be back on the streets until he is well into his seventies. They justified this reasoning by saying they believe the convicted sexual predator will continue to engage in sex trafficking minors if he is released sooner.

“Given the breadth of the defendant’s conduct and its continuity over a period of decades, the government has little doubt that if afforded an opportunity to offend again, the defendant would do so,” federal prosecutors told U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly in a letter.

Federal prosecutors also recommend that he be fined $50,000 to $250,000, according to CNN.

In September 2021, R. Kelly was found guilty of operating a criminal enterprise in order to lure in young girls and boys from state to state for sexual purposes. The now 55-year-old was convicted of racketeering, acts of bribery, sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping, eight counts of violating the Mann Act and sex trafficking charges.

“He committed these crimes using his fame and stardom as both a shield, which prevented close scrutiny or condemnation of his actions, and a sword, which gave him access to wealth and a network of enablers to facilitate his crimes, and an adoring fan-base from which to cull his victims,” federal prosecutors said in their letter.

While federal prosecutors want the “Step In The Name of Love” singer in prison for a few decades, his lawyers are suggesting he be sentenced to only 17 years, FOX News reported. They also accused prosecutors of trying to get a lengthy sentence based on “false claims” that R. Kelly bribed  “a public aid officer to produce an identification card” so he can marry Aaliyah when she was 15-years-old in 1994. Kelly’s former tour manager testified during his 25-day trial and admitted to committing the bribery. They also are claiming that one of his victims was forced by her parents to lie about her age and seduce R. Kelly and that he didn’t prey on her at all.

“Put simply, the defendant’s crimes were calculated, methodical, and part a long- standing pattern of using his platform as a larger-than-life musical persona and his deep network to gain access to teenagers, many of whom were particularly vulnerable, and then to exploit them for his personal gain and sexual gratification.”

Prosecutors also said that “while the government doubts that the defendant will be deterred, a lengthy sentence of imprisonment will serve to deter others — including those with wealth, fame and the outsized power such status brings — from engaging in similar crimes.”

Kelly will appear in court for sentencing on June 29.

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