Home Entertainment R. Kelly to be sentenced Wednesday. Here’s what you need to know.

R. Kelly to be sentenced Wednesday. Here’s what you need to know.

Nine months after his convictions on s_x trafficking and racketeering charges, disgraced R&B singer R. Kelly will be sentenced to up to life in prison on Wednesday.

Kelly, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, was accused of using his money, fame, and network of business managers, security guards, assistants, lawyers, and others to facilitate the abuse of women and minors for nearly three decades.

The 2021 trial was one of the most high-profile cases within the music industry to spring from the #MeToo Movement. It is also one of the most prominent cases in which the victims were mostly Black women.

Here’s what to know about Kelly’s sentencing hearing:

What are the charges that R. Kelly faced in New York?
A jury in the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, found Kelly, 55, guilty of one count of racketeering and eight violations of the Mann Act, a law created to curb s_x trafficking across state lines.

Kelly’s racketeering conviction included 14 underlying acts. For example, witnesses testified that the ’90s hitmaker fraudulently married R&B singer Aaliyah, who was 15 and believed to be pregnant at the time, by bribing a government official to give her a fake ID that claimed she was an adult. Kelly did this to protect himself legally while he _abused Aaliyah, starting when she was 12 or 13 years old, according to prosecutors. She died in a plane crash at 22 years old.

He was also convicted of traveling across state lines for illegal sexual activity, coercion and enticement, and transportation of a minor.

Witnesses testified that Kelly and his team would use the performer’s celebrity to lure and make travel arrangements for his victims, many of them minors hoping for their big break in the music business, only for them to be s_xually abused by Kelly.

Other witnesses, including Kelly’s former live-in girlfriends and former employees, described a system of abuse that kept Kelly’s victims living with him, unable to leave rooms without his permission, and raped by Kelly or other women.

Kelley denied all of the allegations. His lawyer didn’t return a request for comment.

How much prison time could R. Kelly receive?
Kelley faces between 10 years, which is the mandatory minimum sentencing, to life in prison for racketeering and s_x trafficking. In a sentencing memo, federal prosecutors asked that Kelly be sentenced to least 25 years because of “the seriousness of the offenses, the need for specific deterrence and the need to protect the public from further crimes.”

Will his conviction affect Kelly’s ability to continue to profit from his music?
Efforts to stop Kelly from profiting from his music were spearheaded by the #MuteRKelly campaign, which was founded in 2017 by arts administrator Oronike Odeleye and social justice activist Kenyette Barnes.

The “I Believe I Can Fly” singer has millions of dollars stored in a royalties account with Sony, his former record label that dropped him in 2019. However, the money has been promised to a line of collectors, according to an Illinois appeals court document.

More than $1 million of the royalties were seized in 2020 by his former landlord, Midwest Commercial Funding, after he stopped paying rent on his Chicago studio. One of Kelly’s accusers from a previous court case won a $4 million settlement and will continue to receive a portion of his Sony royalties until she is fully paid. Kelly also owes money to the IRS and is behind on child-support payments.

The singer’s music is available on major streaming platforms, including Spotify and Apple Music. Although Spotify removed his songs from its curated playlists, his music still garners almost 5 million monthly listeners.

Could he still face charges in other cases?
Kelly faces various charges in Chicago and Minnesota. In August, he is scheduled to go to trial in Illinois on federal charges of child pornography and obstruction of justice. In that case, Kelly switched defense attorneys, hiring Jennifer Bonjean, who helped free Bill Cosby last year after he served three years of a prison sentence for s_xual assault. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in 2020.

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