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DISGRACED singer R Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years after being found guilty of orchestrating a scheme to recruit women and underage kids for sex.

The singer, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, was convicted of nine criminal counts last September, including violations of the Mann Act and racketeering.

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R Kelly sketched in court on WednesdayCredit: Reuters
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The singer will spend 30 years behind barsCredit: Reuters
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R Kelly's sentencing comes after being found guilty of nine criminal counts, including racketeering and sexual exploitation of a childCredit: Getty Images - Getty
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One of Kelly's victims believes the disgraced singer should spend the rest of his life behind barsCredit: AP

Judge Ann M Donnelly told the former R&B hitmaker, 55, that “the public has to be protected from behaviors like this,” before handing him a stiff sentence.

“These crimes were calculated and carefully planned and regularly executed for almost 25 years. You taught them that love is enslavement and violence,” Donnelly told the singer.

He declined to make a statement before he was sentenced due to pending litigation, according to his attorney.

When asked by the judge if he wished to make a statement, Kelly said, “Yes, your honor, that is my wish.”

Kelly, who was in court wearing black eyeglasses and a khaki shirt, kept his head down as Judge Ann M Donnelly began to go over the sentencing guidelines.

The first victim to make a statement during his sentencing was Angela, who called Kelly a "Pied Piper who lured children with his money and celebrity."

“With every addition of a new victim, you grew in wickedness. You used your fame and power to groom and coach underage boys and girls for your own sexual gratification,” she said.

"Today we reclaim our names. We are no longer the preyed-upon individuals we once were,” Angela said, adding: “I pray that God reaches your soul."

Another victim, identified only as Jane Doe No. 2, described in detail how Kelly would return sweaty from basketball games with his friends before making her perform oral sex on him.

“I felt special because someone who was special to the world was interested in me,” she said, adding: “I hope you go to jail for the rest of your life.”

After her client was handed a 30-year sentence, attorney Jennifer Bonjean said Kelly is "not a predator" and said he was "prepared" for the stiff sentencing.

“He has regrets, and he is sad. He disagrees with the characterizations that have been made about him.”

Prior to his sentencing, the I Believe I Can Fly singer's lawyer blamed his "hypersexual" behavior on being repeatedly sexually abused by his sister as a child, as she pleaded with the judge for a lighter sentence.

Two psychologists who evaluated Kelly wrote in reports submitted with the memo that his older sister sexually abused him and his brothers for years, and started when the singer was only six.

This trauma, Bonjean argued, likely contributed to his "hypersexual" behavior and impaired his cognitive ability.

Kelly is functionally illiterate and has the cognitive ability of a student of elementary school level, Bonjean wrote.

'SEXUAL PREDATOR'

The charges were based on the argument that the entourage of managers and aides who helped the singer meet girls — and keep them obedient and quiet — amounted to a criminal enterprise.

During his trial, several accusers testified in lurid detail, alleging the star subjected them to perverse and sadistic whims when they were underage.

Following the jury's verdict last September, women's rights attorney Gloria Allred, who represented several of Kelly's victims, described the musician as the worst sexual predator she had pursued in her 47-year career of practicing law.

One of Kelly's victims, Lizzette Martinez, told TMZ she believes the feds' recommendation of 25 years in prison is "too low," and instead, he should spend life in prison.

"The situation is that he's destroyed so many lives for so long that I think 25 [years] is too low, to be honest with you," Martinez said.

"We deal with residual side effects. Like we have to live with this forever. You know, it's not something that just goes away. Lock him up and throw the key away or put him under the jail forever."

Kitti Jones, another one of Kelly's victims, told TMZ that she has no issue with the prosecutor's recommendation but said: "no amount of time will give her, and others, back their time or remove their trauma."

Meanwhile, Kelly's ex-wife Drea Kelly, who was married to the disgraced star for 13 years, said her "heart breaks" for her kids, who are forced to live with their dad's shame.

She told Good Morning Britain in September: "Well, I sit in a very difficult place cause, unlike the rest of his victims, I also share children with him. "I was married to him."

Drea, who shares three kids with the disgraced R&B singer, told the show how she wears two hats, that of a survivor and a mother.

She said: "My heart definitely goes out to the survivors and the courage that it takes to even come forward and tell the story.

"But my heart breaks as a mother because this is now the legacy that my children will have to deal with and their children's children."

Drea, real name Andrea, was married to R Kelly from 1996 to 2009.

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The singer's sisters, Lisa Kelly and Cassandra Kelly, arrive at Brooklyn Federal Court on Wednesday
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R Kelly sat quietly as he listened to his victims' testimonies during his sentencingCredit: Reuters

KELLY'S DOWNFALL

The disgraced singer was first accused of having sex with underage girls in the 1990s, and his illegal marriage to late singer Aaliyah in '94, when she was 15 at the time.

In 2002, Kelly was indicted on child pornography charges but was acquitted in 2008 at a trial in Chicago.

It was not until the #MeToo movement renewed scrutiny of his actions that a new wave of charges arrived — and a conviction was stuck in New York.

Federal prosecutors wrote in their sentencing letter that Kelly showed no remorse and, for decades, “exhibited a callous disregard” for the effects of his abuse on victims.

“He committed these crimes using his fame and stardom as both a shield, which prevented close scrutiny or condemnation of his actions,” prosecutors wrote of Kelly.

“And a sword, which gave him access to wealth and a network of enablers to facilitate his crimes, and an adoring fan base from which to cull his victims.”

Kelly is scheduled to face another federal trial alongside his former employees in Illinois.

In that indictment, he is accused of both producing child sexual abuse material and conspiring with employees to corruptly win his 2008 acquittal.

The trial is scheduled to begin on August 15.

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