A federal judge on Thursday sentenced R. Kelly to 20 years in prison for child s3x crimes, after a jury found that he had produced three videos of himself s3xually abusing his 14-year-old goddaughter.
In a victory for the defense, the judge ruled that all but one year of the prison sentence would be served at the same time as a previous 30-year sentence that Mr. Kelly received after a jury in Brooklyn convicted him of racketeering and s3x trafficking charges.
The jury in Chicago convicted Mr. Kelly of six of the 13 charges brought against him in connection with s3xual abuse during the 1990s, including counts of coercing three minors into s3xual activity and three of producing s3x tapes involving a minor. He was acquitted of a charge that he had attempted to obstruct an earlier investigation into his abuse of the goddaughter, and two other counts of enticing minors to have s3x.
Federal prosecutors had argued that Mr. Kelly, 56, deserved 25 years in prison on top of his earlier sentence, citing the singer’s “lack of remorse” as a reason he would pose a danger to society if released.
“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,” Jeannice Williams Appenteng, one of the prosecutors, said in court on Thursday.
A lawyer for Mr. Kelly, Jennifer Bonjean, argued that her client was “likely to die in prison either way,” but that if he did not, he would not pose a threat in old age.
Judge Harry D. Leinenweber agreed, saying in court that he did not think Mr. Kelly would be likely to commit the same kind of crimes in his 80s. The judge acknowledged that he would have dealt a heftier sentence if the Chicago trial had come first.
As in the trial, Mr. Kelly remained mostly silent during the sentencing hearing, declining to speak on his own behalf. Taking into account a possible early release because of good behavior, Mr. Kelly could walk out of prison in his late 70s.