American singer R. Kelly, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for sexually abusing children and women.
Kelly (55), was convicted last September in New York of racketeering and sex trafficking crimes.
US District Judge Ann Donnelly on Wednesday said the R&B artiste had an “indifference to human suffering”.
The judge said Kelly had used sex as a weapon, forcing his victims to do unspeakable things and giving some of them sexually transmitted diseases. She said:
You taught them that love is enslavement and violence.
The celebrity allegedly used his influence to lure women and children into sexual abuse over two decades.
During his six-week trial in Brooklyn, jurors heard how he trafficked women between different US states, assisted by managers, security guards and other members of his entourage.
It was also revealed that Kelly illegally obtained paperwork to marry singer Aaliyah when she was 15 in 1994, seven years before the singer died in a plane crash.
Kelly’s lawyers called for a sentence of 10 years – the mandatory minimum for his conviction – or less.
They argued that Kelly grew up poor in a household rife with domestic violence and suffered sexual abuse from a young age.
The lawyers said he was “devastated” by the sentence and planned to appeal.