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R. Kelly Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison In Sex, Racketeering Case

R&B star R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison, NPR reports. Kelly was sentenced in New York by federal Judge Ann Donnelly, who spoke at length before imposing the sentence on Wednesday. At one point, she quoted a victim impact statement from a woman known in court as Stephanie, who told Kelly, "No price was too high for someone else to pay for your happiness." Donnelly acknowledged points made bythe defense, including that Kelly endured a very difficult childhood, with sexual abuse at the hands of his sister and a landlord. However, she added, "You are a person who had great advantages — worldwide fame and celebrity, untold money."

Kelly declined to address the court. His lawyer cited pending cases: a second federal trial in Illinois, slated to begin Aug. 15, and separate criminal charges in Minnesota. The charges include child pornography and obstruction of justice. Last year, Kelly was found guilty of several charges, including sexual exploitation of a child, racketeering, bribery and sex trafficking. The jury found the government proved Kelly was at the head of a criminal conspiracy to recruit and coerce girls, boys and women into sex. Before the judge announced Kelly's sentence, seven women made their own statements to and about him and about the abuse they suffered. At no point did Kelly look at his accusers.

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