A lawyer for R Kelly is asking a federal judge for a more lenient prison sentence for the “musical genius,” after newly unsealed court documents revealed his “hypersexual” behavior was the result of repeated sexual abuse by his sister as a child.
The details regarding the traumatic childhood of the R&B singer, who was convicted of nine counts of sex trafficking and racketeering charges in a Brooklyn court in September, were released in a sentencing memo unsealed on Tuesday, according to Insider.
R. Kelly’s Attorney Asks For 10 Year Sentence
On Wednesday, Kelly is scheduled to be sentenced at the US District Court in Brooklyn, where he faces up to 25 years in prison. His attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, who described her client as a “musical genius,” asked for 10 years in the sentencing memo in consideration of his own extensive childhood sexual abuse.
Bonjean equated the prosecutor’s recommendation with a life sentence while citing the singer’s age of 55.
“A 25-year sentence is tantamount to a life sentence for Defendant who is 55 years old,” Kelly’s attorney Jennifer Bonjean wrote. “Defendant’s convictions involve four victims who describe conduct that is simply not deserving of a de facto life sentence.”
Insider reports that Bonjean’s sentencing memo included a report by two psychologists who had evaluated Kelly, who wrote that his older sister sexually abused him and his brothers for years starting when Kelly was only six years old. Kelly was also reportedly sexually abused by a landlord and a family friend as a child.
Prosecutors said Kelly ran a sex trafficking enterprise that involved young women and girls for him to have sex with, many of whom were teenagers at the time.
Victims Testified R. Kelly Was Controlling
Several of the victims testified during R Kelly’s trial, saying that he controlled every aspect of their lives, from deciding when they could urinate to choosing their clothes.
The jury hears horror stories of how Kelly sexually abused, beat, and blackmailed his victims, while forcing them to have sex with other people he was dating, according to the outlet.
Accusers also told a grand jury of how they were forced to refer to Kelly as “daddy.”
Those who disobeyed Kelly’s rules were subject to punishments ranging from being brutally assaulted to being left in a room alone for days.
His attorney attempted to recount Kelly’s history in a better light in Tuesday’s sentencing memo, describing his life as a “rags-to-riches” and “complicated” story.
“Defendant is widely accepted as a musical genius with a rags-to-riches story. He is considered the greatest living R&B singer and has earned multiple Grammy awards. He has written and produced music for celebrated artists like Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. Notwithstanding his legendary status, Robert Kelly is a man with a rich and complicated story that is highly relevant to this Court’s goal of fashioning an appropriate sentence for him.”
Prosecutors responded to Bonjean’s sentencing memo, saying Kelly has not expressed any remorse for his crimes, while claiming that he lied during the psychologist interviews cited in Tuesday’s memo.
Bonjean has previously represented such famous clients as Bill Cosby.