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R&B singer R. Kelly handed 30-year prison sentence for sex crimes

R. Kelly was sentenced on Wednesday to 30 years in prison, following the multiplatinum R&B singer’s conviction for exploiting his stardom and wealth over decades to lure women and underage girls into his orbit for sex.

The sentence was imposed nine months after Kelly, 55, was convicted of racketeering and sex crimes, in a trial that amplified accusations that had dogged the singer of the Grammy-winning hit “I Believe I Can Fly” for two decades.

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US District Judge Ann Donnelly in Brooklyn federal court said the evidence reflected Kelly’s “indifference to human suffering” and “sheer brutality” toward his victims.

“This case is not about sex. It’s about violence and cruelty and control,” Donnelly told Kelly. “You left in your wake a trail of broken lives.”

Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, is among the most prominent people convicted of sexual misbehavior during the #MeToo movement against such conduct by prominent men.

He did not speak during Wednesday’s hearing, but has repeatedly denied sexual abuse accusations.

After the sentence was read, his lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, told reporters Kelly was “devastated” by the sentence but that he would appeal.

“Thirty years in prison is like a life sentence for him,” Bonjean said.

‘Do you remember that?’

The sentencing came after several accusers, some of whom were tearful, told the judge about how Kelly promised to mentor them and help them attain stardom, only to subject them to degrading sexual treatment and physical harm.

Many said the abuse led to mental health problems that persist.

“As a teenager, I didn’t know how to say no to R. Kelly when he asked me to perform oral sex on him,” said a woman identified as Jane Doe No. 2.

She then paused, looked at Kelly, and asked, “Do you remember that?”

Kelly wore a black face mask and beige prison clothing to his sentencing.

Several accusers testified during the 5-1/2 week trial about how Kelly would demand that his victims strictly obey his rules.

These included needing his permission go to the bathroom, calling him “Daddy,” and writing “apology letters” that purported to absolve Kelly of wrongdoing, among others.

The alleged victims included the singer Aaliyah, who prosecutors said Kelly fraudulently married when she was 15 to conceal earlier abuse. Aaliyah died in 2001.

“This is a significant outcome for all victims of R. Kelly and especially for the survivors who so bravely testified about the horrific and sadistic abuse they endured,” Breon

Peace, the top federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, told reporters after the hearing.

No remorse

He was convicted on nine criminal charges, including one count of racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which bars transporting people across state lines for prostitution.

Prosecutors had urged a prison sentence of more than 25 years, saying Kelly had demonstrated a “callous disregard” for his victims and shown no remorse.

“I never thought that I would be here to see him be held accountable for the atrocious things that he did to children,” Lizzette Martinez, one of the accusers who spoke in court, told reporters after the hearing.

Defense lawyers said Kelly deserved no more than 10 years, the mandatory minimum, arguing that his history as an abused child may have led to his adult “hypersexuality,” and that he no longer posed a threat.

Kelly has been in jail since July 2019.

He will likely be transported soon to a jail in Chicago, where he faces an August trial in federal court on child pornography and obstruction charges. He also faces various state charges in Illinois and Minnesota.

Read more: Ghislaine Maxwell handed 20-year prison sentence for sex trafficking

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Lindsay Lohan celebrates birthday as married woman to Dubai resident Bader Shammas

Actress Lindsay Lohan is celebrating her 36th birthday on Saturday as a married woman.

The “Freaky Friday” star said she was the “luckiest woman in the world” in an Instagram post Friday that pictured her with financier Bader Shammas, who had been her fiance.

“I am stunned that you are my husband,” Lohan said in the post, adding that “every woman should feel like this everyday.”

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The couple had announced their engagement last November. People magazine and Entertainment Tonight confirmed there had been a wedding, but no details were offered.

While still single a few years ago, Lohan told Entertainment Tonight that she was looking for “a smart businessman” and someone who doesn’t like the spotlight. Shammas’ Instagram account is private.

The “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen” actress and sometimes singer has worked through some sobriety issues in recent years, and has recently filmed a romantic comedy that is due to be released on Netflix later this year.

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Dutch university gets cyber ransom money back with interest

A Dutch university that fell victim to a massive ransomware attack has partly received back its stolen money, which in the meantime more than doubled in value, a news report said on Saturday.

The southern Maastricht University in 2019 was hit by a large cyberattack in which criminals used ransomware, a type of malicious software that locks valuable data and can only be accessed once the victim pays a ransom amount.

“The criminals had encrypted hundreds of Windows servers and backup systems, preventing 25,000 students and employees from accessing scientific data, library and mail,” the daily De Volkskrant said.

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The hackers demanded 200,000 euros ($208,000) in bitcoins.

“After a week the university decide to accede to the criminal gang’s demand,” the paper said.

“This was partly because personal data was in danger of being lost and students were unable to take an exam or work on their theses,” it said.

Dutch police traced part of the ransom paid to an account belonging to a money launderer in Ukraine.

Prosecutors in 2020 seized this man’s account, which contained a number of different crypto currencies including part of the ransom money paid by Maastricht.

“When, now after more than two years, it was finally possible to get that money to the Netherlands, the value had increased from 40,000 euros to half-a-million euros,” the paper said.

Maastricht University will now get the 500,000 euros ($521,000) back.

“This money will not go to a general fund, but into a fund to help financially strapped students,” Maastricht University ICT director Michiel Borgers said.

The investigation into the hackers responsible for the attack on the university is still ongoing, De Volkskrant added.

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Cyberattack hits Norway, pro-Russian hacker group fingered

Explainer: EU agrees rulebook for ‘Wild West’ crypto markets

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Singer R. Kelly sues Brooklyn jail for putting him on suicide watch

R. Kelly on Friday sued the Brooklyn jail that has housed him since his racketeering and sex crimes conviction, saying it wrongly put him on suicide watch after he received a 30-year prison sentence despite knowing he was not suicidal.

In a complaint filed in Brooklyn federal court, the 55-year-old multiplatinum R&B singer said officials at the Metropolitan Detention Center ordered the watch after his June 29 sentencing “solely for punitive purposes” and because he was a “high-profile” inmate.

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Kelly’s lawyer Jennifer Bonjean quoted a prosecutor as saying the jail’s legal counsel had told her that “per the psychology department, is on a psych alert for various reasons, such as age, crime, publicity and sentencing.” No timetable was provided.

Bonjean wasn’t satisfied with the explanation. “Simply put, MDC Brooklyn is run like a gulag,” she wrote.

Kelly said the “harsh conditions” he faced led to “severe mental distress,” and amounted to cruel and unusual punishment that violated the US Constitution’s Eighth Amendment.

He is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, though the docket suggests Kelly is seeking $100 million.

The jail did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Known for the 1996 Grammy-winning hit “I Believe I Can Fly,” Kelly was convicted last September on one count of racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which bars transporting people across state lines for prostitution.

Prosecutors said Kelly exploited his stardom and wealth over two decades to lure women and underage girls into his orbit for sex, with the help of his entourage.

Kelly said he was also put on suicide watch after his conviction.

Ghislaine Maxwell, another inmate at the Brooklyn jail, was placed on suicide watch on June 24, four days before being sentenced to 20 years in prison for aiding financier Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse of underage girls.

Maxwell’s lawyer said the British socialite had been given a “suicide smock” and deprived of clothing, toothpaste and soap though she too was not suicidal.

Friday’s filings did not say what specific conditions Kelly faced.

Kelly still faces an August trial in Chicago federal court on child pornography and obstruction charges, and various state charges in Illinois and Minnesota.

Read more:

R&B singer R. Kelly handed 30-year prison sentence for sex crimes

UK prosecutors charge actor Kevin Spacey with sex crimes

Ghislaine Maxwell handed 20-year prison sentence for sex trafficking

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