A federal judge Wednesday said she plans on issuing a $300,000 restitution order on disgraced R&B singer R. Kelly for sexually abusing minors over the last three decades.
Kelly, who was convicted on three counts of child pornography and three counts of enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity in his hometown of Chicago earlier this month, was sentenced to a minimum of 10 years in prison. The conviction follows another trial earlier this year in New York, where he was convicted on all nine counts of racketeering and sex trafficking, sentencing the singer to 30 years in federal prison.
The New York Post reports U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly was still finalizing the order meant to cover herpes and psychotherapy treatment costs of two women, known as Jane and Stephanie. However, the price could likely rise after prosecutors recalculate the medication cost for one of the victims — neither of whom attended the hearing.
Kelly appeared at the hearing via video from a cell in Chicago and only spoke when greeting the judge and turning down the chance to defend himself.
Questions arise about how Kelly would pay for the restitution fees considering his inmate commissary account of $28,000 — made up of small donations from fans — is the only access he has to any funds because of judgments against him in civil cases. Yet prosecutors claim Kelly has access to approximately $5 million, per The Associated Press.
Defense attorney Jennifer Bonjean told the judge that her client has always been clueless about his finances.
“He’s not the best source of that information,” she said.
The New York Times reported last week that during Kelly’s criminal trial in Brooklyn, Elizabeth Geddes, a federal prosecutor, said Kelly used his fame to prey on underage boys and girls and women with the help of “enablers for his criminal conduct.”
“For many years, what happened in the defendant’s world stayed in the defendant’s world,” Geddes told jurors in Federal District Court in Brooklyn. “But no longer.”
Geddes said Grammy-award-winning singer “used lies, manipulation, threats, and physical abuse” to carry out abuse on his victims while hiding in plain sight. And if one were to challenge his tactics, Kelly “used his henchmen to lodge threats and exact revenge.”
Even as allegations of sexual misconduct against the singer began surfacing in the 1990s, he still sold millions of albums. But public support for the singer began to shift following the release of the 2019 Lifetime docuseries titled “Surviving R. Kelly” and after the #MeToo movement.
Kelly, known for his hits such as “I Believe I Can Fly” and other songs like “Bump n’ Grind,” still faces various state charges in Illinois and Minnesota.
Katie Jerkovich contributed to this report.