Chicago Judge Sided With R. Kelly During His Sentencing

Chicago Judge Sided With R. Kelly During His Sentencing

R. Kelly will serve all but one of his 20 years for child sex charges concurrently with a previous term, the Grammy Award-winning R&B singer was told by a federal court on Thursday, rejecting the prosecution’s request to keep him behind bars until he is 100.

The sentence, which was delivered in a courtroom in Kelly’s hometown of Chicago, indicates that Kelly may be released from prison when he is nearly 80 years old. Judge Harry Leinenweber was requested by the prosecution to sentence him to 25 years, with the first 30 years of that term to be served after he completes the 30-year sentence that was handed down last year in New York for federal racketeering and sex trafficking crimes.

In describing the 20-year sentence, Leinenweber remarked, “The nature of this conduct is… horrible.” He pointed out that the victims of Kelly’s sexual assault would be affected by his acts for the rest of their lives.

At the same time, he agreed with the defense that Kelly might not even live to be 80, therefore it didn’t make much sense to give him a lengthy sentence that was served consecutively rather than allowing him to serve all but one year of it at once.

The judge declared, “He has not a hell of a lot more life expectancy.” The man is 56 years old.

Several Kelly followers could be heard cheering outside the courtroom as Kelly’s defense attorney hailed the decision as a success.

While Leinenweber clarified what at times was a difficult-to-follow statement, Kelly stood still and had a glum expression on his face. When a representative read a statement prepared by “Jane,” one of his accusers and a crucial prosecution witness, he did appear to be feeling some emotion.

Jane’s declaration read, “I was indoctrinated by Robert and a sex slave.” It nearly killed me.

Kelly did not make a statement in court prior to the sentencing decision, heeding the advice of his lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, to stay quiet while they appeal both his Chicago and New York convictions.

After the hearing was over, Bonjean remarked about the sentencing, “It’s the correct consequence.” “The judge acted sensibly. He, I believe, considered both views and eventually acted fairly.

John Lausch, the U.S. Attorney in Chicago, acknowledged that the prosecution was upset that Kelly didn’t receive a longer sentence of concurrent incarceration. Twenty years is a hefty punishment, and we are glad that it was issued in this case, he continued.

In considering whether to considerably lengthen Kelly’s existing sentence, the judge stated at the opening of the hearing on Thursday that he did not believe the government’s claim that Kelly used fear to entice minor females for sex.

The judge explained to the court that “the (government’s) entire premise of grooming was sort of the antithesis of fear of bodily injury.” It was the worry about losing Kelly’s love and affection. … I just don’t think it reaches to the level of fear of physical danger.