A woman identified in court as Angela said, "We will be able to live again."
She said, "I am a representation of every woman, boy, child, man that you have ever afflicted with your deplorable, inexplicable acts, and with that I leave you with yourself, Robert Sylvester Kelly."
Another woman, known in court as Jane Doe 2, described enduring depression and stress related to Kelly's abuse. She paused in her comments to demand his attention when Kelly whispered to his attorney. "I'm sorry," she said. "I don't want to interrupt his conversation."
A man identified as Charles, the father of another woman, said in a resigned tone, "So many people love you and they hate us." He noted that Kelly hadn't expressed remorse. Charles urged Kelly to confess and to ask for God's forgiveness.
Kelly's defense lawyer promises an appeal
"Obviously he's devastated," Kelly's lawyer Jennifer Bonjean said outside the courthouse. "Thirty years in prison is like a life sentence for him, but at the same time we knew the government was asking for 25 years. We were prepared for what the judge might impose and we are now prepared to fight this appeal."
Victims were heard
After the sentencing hearing, U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said the case meant the "voices of mostly Black and brown women and children ... were heard and believed, and for [them,] justice was finally achieved."
The sentencing comes after decades of allegations against the multi-platinum singer. In 2008, he stood trial in his hometown of Chicago for child pornography. He was acquitted of all charges.