Gerald Griggs, an attorney for several of the victims, said in a statement that his clients are satisfied with the verdict.
Trigger Warning: This story mentions sexual abuse which may be disturbing to readers.
On June 29, 2022, multiplatinum R&B singer R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in jail for sexually abusing multiple women and children.
He was accused of racketeering and sex trafficking and was convicted in September 2021, according to the BBC. He was found guilty of his crimes after a six-week trial with testimonies from 45 witnesses in a Brooklyn courtroom, as per PEOPLE.
During the trial, he was found guilty of violating an anti-sex-trafficking law known as the Mann Act.
U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly in Brooklyn federal court said the evidence reflected Kelly's "indifference to human suffering" and "sheer brutality" toward his victims, per Reuters. "This case is not about sex. It's about violence and cruelty and control," Donnelly told Kelly. "You left in your wake a trail of broken lives."
The I Believe I Can Fly singer reportedly kept mum during his sentencing but has repeatedly denied the allegations against him. Also, his lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, told reporters that her client Kelly was "devastated" by the sentence. She also revealed that he would appeal.
"Thirty years in prison is like a life sentence for him," Bonjean said.
Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, reportedly used his celebrity status as bait to lure women and children; and sexually abused them for over two decades. He was arrested in 2019.
He was previously arrested on charges of child pornography in 2002 but was acquitted by the court in 2008.
Gerald Griggs, an attorney for several of the victims, also said in a statement that his clients are satisfied with the verdict.
"Money, power and fame will not buy you immunity in the US".— Sky News (@SkyNews) June 29, 2022
Steve Francis, from Homeland Security Investigations, says R Kelly 'inflicted pain and anguish on so many victims' and 'no amount of money or fame is enough to evade justice'.https://t.co/rL0V8IqFpV
📺 Sky 501 pic.twitter.com/0GQOKjQe3b
"It's been a long journey for many of the accusers and their family members," Griggs says. "My clients have been fighting since 2017, and some others have been fighting for 20 years. Today, the voices of Black women were heard loud and clear. This is a process to achieve justice, and they are eagerly awaiting sentencing – as well as his three other trials. Today, justice was served for Robert Sylvester Kelly."
It is now likely that Kelly will soon be transported to a prison in Chicago. He has another trial in August, in federal court, on child pornography and obstruction of justice charges, along with various state charges in Illinois and Minnesota.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Scott Olson