R. Kelly's Prison Time Is Just One Of The Consequences He's Facing

This article contains discussions of sexual assault and child abuse. 

After decades of abuse allegations, R. Kelly's past has finally caught up with him. The "I Believe I Can Fly" singer has long been facing public repercussions for his sexual abuse, but evaded legal consequences. According to AP News, the first victim of Kelly came forward in 1997 (although it's worth noting that he married 15-year-old singer Aaliyah, who was 12 years his junior, three years earlier). Although victims would continue to come forward, it would be decades before the public began to take a stand and side with his accusers.

In 2018, BBC News reported that Spotify was removing the artist from platform-generated playlists, in line with the thinking of the #MuteRKelly movement. Although CNN noted that they later reversed the decision, other platforms and people began waking up to the singer's dark history. Lifetime released the first season of its "Surviving R. Kelly" documentary in 2019, which highlighted the voices of victims and renewed activism in the public. In September 2021, the rapper was finally found guilty of many gruesome charges, including sex trafficking, sexual exploitation of a child, and racketeering, per NPR. On June 29, R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Now, a lengthy prison sentence isn't all R. Kelly has to worry about.

The judge ordered supervision and treatment for R. Kelly upon his release

The decision to sentence R. Kelly for 30 years was a large victory for both the victims and the prosecution team, who had asked for a minimum of 25 years. The rapper's defense team was hoping for less than ten. Their argument had been based on the fact that, for a 55-year-old man, a 30-year sentence would make it likely he wouldn't live to see life outside of prison again, according to CNN.

While it's true that Kelly would be very old upon his release, the court is making sure that he won't have any opportunity to commit his sexual crimes against minors again. According to TMZ, Kelly would have to undergo treatment for a sexual disorder, as well as avoid general contact with anyone under the age of 18 upon his release from prison. He would also be placed under supervision for five years, meaning true freedom wouldn't come until the ripe age of 90 if he serves his full sentence.

Importantly, The New York Times points out that Kelly will be facing an additional federal trial in August for charges of producing child pornography and more sexual abuse. This decision could undoubtedly bring more consequences for the rapper, and seal his fate of spending the rest of his life behind bars.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.