Victims of R. Kelly spoke out in court on Wednesday ahead of his sentencing, accusing the disgraced R&B singer of committing “deplorable, inexplicable acts” and destroying “so many people’s lives” while also demanding that the court has “your freedom taken from you .”
The 55-year-old bore witness to seven different impact statements from some of his victims while awaiting his sentencing in Brooklyn federal court. After a six-week trial last year, Kelly — born Robert Sylvester Kelly — was found guilty in September 2021 of all nine counts against him and charged with racketeering and violating the Mann Act, an anti-sex trafficking law.
In their remarks to the court, Kelly’s victims told of his “wickedness,” compared him to a Pied Piper who’s attracted children with fortune and fame, accused him of grooming and coaching “underage boys for your own sexual gratification,” and said he “took away my innocence.”
Seven victims – Angela, Addie, Lizzette Martinez, Stephanie, Kitti Jones, Faith, and Sonja – appeared at the sentencing hearing in person to read portions of their statements.
The Independent has compiled excerpts from all the victim impact statements below:
“The Pied Piper of R&B, both in music and in technique and in approach.
“Success and love… you presented these glittering gems as if they were gold.
“With every addition of a new victim you grew in wickedness, cockiness, diminishing any form of humanity or self-awareness, which soon became the breeding ground for your God-like complex.
“You were doing, saying and encouraging despicable things that no one should be doing.
“We reclaim our names from beneath the shadows of your afflicted trauma. We are no longer the preyed-upon individuals we once were.
“I pray that God reaches your soul.”
“Writing this impact statement was hard.
“I never knew that going to that concert in September of 1994 was going to change me forever.
“These last four years have been a rude awakening of how my silence has hurt others.
“I hope Robert Kelly cannot sleep at night, knowing this is what he’s done.”
“January 1995 eventually changed me forever.
“I was left in shock, confused and in tears.
“[He] destroyed my young adult life… took away my innocence.
“I don’t know how to put a price on all I’ve gone through. I am now 45, a mother and I struggle with mental health.
“Being abused doesn’t give you the right — you have no excuse.
“Robert, you destroyed so many people’s lives.”
“You were a 31-year-old pedophile ready to ruin another young woman’s life.
“What you did has left a permanent stain of my life I’ll never be able to wash away. Now it’s your turn, to have your freedom taken from you.
“I felt special, because someone who was special to the world was interested in me.
“I hope you go to jail for the rest of your life.”
“The secrets are out… I feel heard and believed.
“Many of us have been waiting for this day to come.”
“I hope you forgive yourself. I forgive myself.
“I hope you get some help, as well as ask God for forgiveness.”
“There were numerous times I was scared for my life, scared for my daughter’s life.
“I hope and I pray to God that we can all heal.”