Home Local Prosecutors ask for more than 25 years in federal prison for R. Kelly on New York racketeering conviction

Prosecutors ask for more than 25 years in federal prison for R. Kelly on New York racketeering conviction

by staff

Federal prosecutors in New York on Wednesday asked for a sentence “in excess of 25 years” in prison for convicted singer R. Kelly, saying his racketeering conviction was part of a “long and pervasive history of enticing children to engage in sexual activity.”

Kelly, 55, one of the biggest music stars Chicago has ever produced, was convicted by a federal jury in Brooklyn in September of racketeering conspiracy and eight other counts alleging the singer used his organization to lure and trap girls, boys and young women to satisfy his sexually predatory desires.

Advertisement

In addition to the main count of racketeering, the jury found Kelly guilty on all eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits travel over state lines for illegal sex.

In asking U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly to sentence Kelly to more than 25 years in prison, prosecutors said in a 31-page sentencing memo that his recording career allowed him to take “advantage of his access to adoring fans and musical hopefuls who jumped at the chance to meet him.”

Advertisement

“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,” prosecutors wrote.

As the leader of his enterprise, Kelly felt emboldened to commit his criminal acts “in plain sight,” and employ others to help recruit women and girls and satisfy his sexual whims, prosecutors said.

Kelly’s crimes also were not “aberrational” but his regular way of operating, “which he had no intention of ceasing,” prosecutors wrote. It continued even after he was indicted on child pornography charges in Cook County, a case that ended with his acquittal in 2008.

“If anything, the (Kelly’s) acquittal after his state trial appears to have emboldened the defendant with a belief that he was untouchable and, over the next decade, the (his) crimes continued unabated,” the prosecution memo stated.

Kelly is scheduled to be sentenced June 29 in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.

In all, the seven-man, five-woman jury found Kelly guilty of 12 individual criminal acts involving the racketeering scheme, including sex with multiple underage girls as well as a 1994 scheme to bribe an Illinois public aid official to get a phony ID for 15-year-old singer Aaliyah so the two could get illegally married.

Kelly’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, is expected to file her own sentencing recommendation next week.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

jmeisner@chicagotribune.com

mcrepeau@chicagotribune.com

Related Articles

Leave a Comment