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R. Kelly Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison

After being involved in a series of unlawful activities such as sex trafficking, sexual abuse, and federal racketeering, R&B singer and rapper R. Kelly has faced significant criticism. He was found guilty of these charges last year, and this week, he received his sentence.

US District Court Judge Ann Donnelly surprised both the prosecution and the defense by sentencing Kelly to 30 years in prison yesterday. Donnelly pointed out the destructive impact Kelly had on others, stating, “You left in your wake a trail of broken lives.” She also acknowledged Kelly’s past experiences with sexual abuse but emphasized that it does not excuse his actions.

Jovante Cunningham, a former backup singer of Kelly, expressed optimism about the court’s decision. Cunningham shared, “I started this journey 30 years ago. There wasn’t a day in my life up until this moment that I actually believed that the judicial system would come through for Black and brown girls. I stand here very proud of my judicial system, very proud of my fellow survivors and very pleased with the outcome.”

In response to his sentence, Kelly chose not to speak directly to the court but conveyed a message through his attorney, Jennifer Bonjean. Bonjean stated, “He accepts that he is a flawed individual,” adding that Kelly is not just the negative portrayal presented by the government and the media. Bonjean mentioned that Kelly has feelings of regret and sadness regarding the situation.

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