An associate of convicted sex trafficker R. Kelly was sentenced to 96 months in prison for witness intimidation on Wednesday.
Per Complex, Michael Williams, a relative of one of Kelly’s former publicists, pled guilty back in April to an arson charge after admitting to traveling to the home of one of Kelly’s accusers in Florida in June and setting fire to a car parked outside. Prosecutors argued that William’s actions were a deliberate attempt to scare the accuser, identified in court documents as ‘Jane Doe,’ from cooperating with federal authorities in R. Kelly’s New York trial. They also said that Jane was inside of her home at the time of the incident along with two children and three other adults. The car was leased to Jane’s father.
Complex has more:
According to the Department of Justice, investigators also found traces of an accelerant outside the witness’ home. They also said Williams had conducted internet searches “about the detonation properties of fertilizer and diesel fuel, witness intimidation and witness tampering, and countries that do not have extradition agreements with the United States.”
During the hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Cruz Melendez read a statement brought forth by the accuser:
“It is very unfortunate to see a man lose his freedom, however, the crime that was committed was not only vicious but disturbing. My mental state deteriorated tremendously due to fear, invasion of privacy, and trauma among many other things. Because of your actions, I live in fear and have had to relocate my entire life. In that home were not only adults but animals and children under the age of 10. My family is traumatized and has been in distress due to this unlawful act. I hope this life-changing event gives you time to reflect on your actions.
In September, R. Kelly was convicted on all nine counts of racketeering and sex trafficking in violation of the Mann Act following the month-long federal trial in New York. He’s expected to be sentenced in May 2022. The federal Chicago trial for the disgraced entertainer is set to begin on August 1, 2022.