In a sentencing memorandum filed Wednesday, federal prosecutors urged a U.S. District Court judge to sentence R. Kelly to a minimum of 25 years in prison. Last year, Kelly was convicted by a Brooklyn jury of racketeering, kidnapping, sex trafficking, sexual exploitation of a child and bribery.
Prosecutors also encouraged that he be fined between $50,000 to $250,000 as well. Celebrity attorney Jennifer Bonjean, who previously represented clients like Bill Cosby, was part of Kelly’s legal team. The memorandum, which is 31 pages long, details Kelly’s disturbing history and why they believe this sentence is just:
“With the aid of his inner circle and over a period of decades, the defendant preyed upon children and young women for his own sexual gratification. He lured young girls and boys into his orbit, often through empty or conditioned promises of assistance in developing a career in the entertainment industry or simply by playing into the minors’ understandable desire to meet and spend time with a popular celebrity.”
“In order to carry out his many crimes, the defendant relied upon his fame, money and popularity as an R&B recording star and used the large network of people his status afforded him – including his business managers, security guards and bouncers, runners, lawyers, accountants, and assistants – to both carry out and conceal his crimes. He continued his crimes and avoided punishment for them for almost 30 years and must now be held to account.”
Kelly’s abuse of young Black women and girls went on for decades. The 2019 Lifetime docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly,” which ran for two seasons, explored his predatory behavior in depth. It also featured interviews with alleged victims and their families. Kelly is expected to be sentenced on June 29 in the Eastern District of New York.