Entertainment

Victims have mixed feelings about 30-year sentence for R Kelly

Kelly was handed the sentence after being convicted on charges of racketeering and sex-trafficking in September last year.

R Kelly’s abuse victims were divided in their opinion of his sentence of 30 years, but said they were “grateful” that the R&B singer was “away and will stay away”.

Speaking outside court following the verdict two women, who remained anonymous while reading their victim impact statements to the court, said they were “proud” of one another.

Kelly was handed the sentence after being convicted on charges of racketeering and sex-trafficking in September last year.

The singer was branded “the pied piper of R&B” by a victim using the pseudonym “Angela” who went on to detail his “deplorable and inexplicable” abuse during her statement.

She told reporters: “I started this journey 30 years ago, I was 14 years old when I encountered Robert Sylvester Kelly.

“There wasn’t a day in my life up until this moment that I actually believed that the judicial system would come through for black and brown girls.

“I stand here very proud of my judicial system, very proud of my fellow survivors and very pleased with the outcome.

“Thirty years (is how long) that he did this and 30 years is what he got.”

R Kelly
Lizzette Martinez (John Minchillo/AP)

Asked how she felt now that the former 90s superstar had been sentenced, she replied “overwhelmed”.

Lizzette Martinez, who also read an impact statement in court under the pseudonym Jane Doe, said she was pleased with the sentence but “personally didn’t think it was enough”.

“Today was a very special but hard day for us,” she said.

“This happened to me a very long time ago, I was 17 them and I am 45 today.

“I never thought I’d see him be held accountable, the atrocious things he did to children.

“I don’t know what else to say, except that I’m grateful.

“I am grateful that Robert Sylvester Kelly is away and will stay away and will not be able to harm anyone else.

“Asked if 30 years was a long enough sentence, Ms Martinez replied: “I personally don’t think it’s enough but I’m pleased with it.”

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