Warning: This article features explicit details of child sexual abuse that could be triggering for some readers.
R Kelly, a man serving 30 years for sex trafficking children, has been handed down another sentence. As of February 23, Kelly has been given another 20 years in jail for child pornography and enticement of a minor.
However, if you were to assume that these two sentences would result in Kelly spending 50 years in prison, you’d be incorrect. This is because Kelly will be serving these two sentences concurrently. As it stands, Kelly will only spend one extra year in prison for possessing child pornography and enticing an underage girl.
Understandably, the prosecutors in this case didn’t want this result. They wanted to make sure that Kelly spent another 50 years in jail.
As Jeannice Williams Appenteng, one of the prosecutors, said, “The only way to ensure he will not reoffend is to impose a sentence that will keep him in prison for the rest of his life.”
What’s more, one of Kelly’s victims also wanted this rapist to be imprisoned for “as long as the law allows.”
A woman, who went by Jane, said in a statement, “I have lost my dignity due to Robert Kelly. I have lost my dreams due to Robert Kelly. I have lost my teenage years to Robert Kelly.”
“I will forever be the girl that R Kelly peed on.”
Nevertheless, as we’ve already established, Kelly won’t be spending another 50 years behind bars. His lawyers were able to successfully fight for concurrent sentences. They stated that because Kelly’s 56 years old, another 50 years would be pointless, as he’s probably going to die in prison anyways.
“In the unlikely event that Kelly was to survive his 30-year sentence, there is no reason to believe he would reoffend as a geriatric in his mid-80s,” said Kelly’s attorneys. “The overwhelming majority of Kelly’s criminal conduct was committed a quarter century ago.”
And the judge, Harry D Leinenweber, agreed. He believes that even if Kelly is released at age 86, it would be unlikely that he would use child pornography or entice a minor again.
If this R Kelly sentence isn’t increased down the track, let’s hope that Leinenweber isn’t proven wrong.
If this article brings up any issues for you or anyone you know, please contact Bravehearts — an organisation providing support to victims of child abuse. If you are concerned about the welfare of a child, you can get advice from the Child Abuse Protection Hotline (1800 688 009) or the 24-Hour Child Abuse Report Line (131 478).