The American singer Robert Sylvester (‘R’ Kelly) was sentenced to 30 years in prison early this month after being convicted of a series of heart-breaking abuses labelled against him before court.
Survivors of Kelly’s abuse reportedly told the court how the assault affected their lives and traumatised them. He faced the court to answer to allegations of abusing women, girls and boys that have spanned more than twenty years.
A jury in New York City found the RnB singer guilty of nine counts of racketeering and sex trafficking.
The sentence was imposed by US district judge Ann Donnelly at the federal court in Brooklyn.
The Guardian reported that the 55-year-old singer terrorised his victims sexually, physically and emotionally.
“At the trial, victims had described how Kelly subjected them to perverse and sadistic whims when they were underage. Several said he would demand they strictly obey rules such as needing his permission to eat or go to the bathroom, and writing ‘apology letters’ that purported to absolve him of wrongdoing,” The Guardian reported early this week.
Those that had been assaulted by Kelly described him as ‘wicked’ and having tried to ‘break their spirit’.
But Kelly’s years-long allegations finally getting the attention they deserve and his subsequent facing of the consequences is not the first tale of its kind.
Other high-profile personalities have recently been convicted for similar sex abuse charges as social justice movements like #metoo continue to gain momentum.
The ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ singer’s charges come after several other celebrities having to answer to similar crimes including rape and sex trafficking.
America- along with the rest of the world, faced the disappointing realisation that the once adored ‘father figure’ Bill Cosby was a sexual predator.
In 2018, the actor and Comedian known for his self-titled sitcom show was convicted of three counts of aggravated indecent assault against Andrea Constand, to whom Cosby had been a mentor.
“The case against Mr. Cosby began with his arrest in 2015 on charges that he had drugged and sexually assaulted a woman at his home in the Philadelphia suburbs 11 years earlier.
The disgraced comedian also faced a civil trial, where Judy Huth accused Cosby of molesting her as a teenager at the Playboy Mansion in 1975.
“As part of its decision, the jury awarded Ms. Huth $500,000,” The New York Times reported.
The report further pointed out Cosby’s release from prison later- which was only because of a technicality.
“After the conviction was overturned on the grounds that prosecutors violated Mr. Cosby’s rights by reneging on a promise not to charge him, Mr. Cosby was released from prison on June 30, 2021.”
During the court proceedings, Cosby had admitted to drugging women that he was pursuing for sex with Quaaludes. Cosby’s reputation as 'America’s father' had come tumbling down with multiple allegations.
And Cosby’s lawyers had initially defended their client suggesting that another already ongoing scandal would taint a fair trial.
It was yet another renowned personality who had been thrust into the limelight for horrendous reasons, the former film producer Hervey Weinstein.
New York Times reported: “But Mr. Cosby’s lawyers, who had said at the time that allegations against Mr. Weinstein would make it difficult for them to receive a fair trial, later suggested in an appeal that the outcome had been influenced by what they described as a period of “public panic.”
Weinstein’s sexual assault scandal is one of the biggest so far in our time. It popularised the me too movement, which called out sexual violence and encouraged victims to speak out.
The disgraced film producer stood trial in 2020 and was found guilty of two felonies, a criminal sexual act in the first degree and third degree rape.
More than a dozen women had accused Weinstein of sexually harassing, assaulting or raping them.
“One of the biggest effects of the #MeToo movement has been to show Americans and people around the world how widespread sexual harassment, assault, and other misconduct really are. As more and more survivors spoke out, they learned they were not alone,” Vox Media reported.
There have been other powerful personalities in entertainment, media, sports and politics who have faced accusations of sexual misconduct.
CNN reports that the celebrated actor Kevin Spacey was accused of an inappropriate advance with a colleague who was just 14 years old at the time.
“Actor Anthony Rapp accused Kevin Spacey of making a sexual advance toward him when both of them were working on Broadway in 1986. Rapp was 14 at the time and Spacey was 26,” CNN reported.
The actor is now facing sexual assault allegations.
“Five charges are being brought against the 62-year-old after a review of Met Police evidence following complaints dating between 2005 and 2013,” BBC reports.
The two-time Oscar winner is known for movie roles on American Beauty, Seven and the Netflix show House of Cards.