In September, notorious rapper and sexual predator R. Kelly was convicted of sex trafficking and racketeering.
This is a man who managed to evade consequences for many years, despite becoming almost synonymous with sexual abuse and grooming.
Federal prosecutors note that his conviciton on nine counts was a long time coming, and that sentencing should reflect the scope and severity of his crimes.
The court is being asked for R. Kelly to receive a sentence of more than 25 years.
R. Kelly will be sentenced on June 29, nine months after his conviction over decades of abuse.
On Thursday, federal prosecutors filed documents asking the court to sentence the disgraced rapper spend almost as many years behind bars as he spend evading justice.
“In light of the seriousness of the offenses,” the filing began.
The filing cited “the need for specific deterrence and the need to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant.”
As such, “the government respectfully submits that a sentence in excess of 25 years is warranted.”
This filing came from the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.
Prosecutors acknowledged how R. Kelly had been “relying on his fame, money, and popularity as an R&B recording star.”
He used his clout and resources “to both carry and conceal his crimes.”
“He continued his crimes and avoided punishment for them for almost 30 years,” prosecutors pointed out, “and must now be held to account.”
Prosecutors did not hold back, as their filing spans 31 pages.
Riding upon the strength of the evidence and Kelly’s conviction, they cite the “callous disregard” that he showed to his victims.
For many years, Kelly used abuse, grooming of minors, and manipulation to gain sexual access to women and girls, backed by financial leverage and a network of support.
Despite numerous accusations and even an infamous charge decades ago, Kelly never seemed to slow down.
As such, the serial predator “is unlikely to be deterred from further sexually abusing and exploiting children and others.”
If the court sides with prosecutors on sentencing, Kelly will be in his 70s by the time that he leaves prison … and even that will be complicated.
Kelly did not limit his reign of terror against women and girls to New York.
He has accusers from across the nation.
Minnesota state prosecutors are after him for crimes against a minor. Federal prosecutors in Illinois want him for child sexual-abuse material (CSAM) and obstruction.
The trial in Illinois is set for August.
In April of this year, his attorneys tried to delay sentencing in New York until his trial in August.
The delay tactic was clearly unsuccessful.
Kelly’s attorneys are also trying to limit his sentence to a mere 14 years.
However, given his overall lack of displaying any remorse for his actions, it is difficult to imagine the court being so lenient.
Prosecutors note that “the defendant’s decades of crime appear to have been fueled by narcissism and a belief that his musical talent absolved him” of his crimes.
There are many solid arguments to be made against every aspect of our justice system as it stands now, including mass incarceration.
Some people, however, do represent a clear and present danger to society, and have used their wealth and power to ruin lives in unthinkably brutal ways.
R. Kelly is one such person, and a jury of his peers confirmed that last year. Let us hope that the court’s sentence reflects the horrors that he has inflicted upon so many.