In case you need some cheering up this week, I have great news for you. R. Kelly might spend the rest of his life in prison. He has been charged with 11 new counts of sexual assault and abuse. Four of those charges are felonies that each have sentences of up to 30 years in prison. It is extremely satisfying to know that he may finally receive the punishment that he deserves for ruining the lives of so many women.
The charges were filed by Jerhonda Pace, who was a minor when the crimes took place. Her charges against Kelly include four counts of aggravated criminal assault, three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a victim between the ages of 13 and 16, two counts of criminal sexual assault by force and two counts of aggravated criminal sex abuse. Of course, Kelly is claiming that he is innocent of all of these charges. He has probably convinced himself that since he has gotten away with being a sexual abuser for so many years, there is no way that he will be found guilty now. The thought of Kelly walking free send shivers down my spine, but until his scheduled court appearance on June 6, I will remain hopeful that he will be imprisoned.
Pace published a post on her Facebook page after the news came out about her charges against Kelly, and her statement broke my heart. She said,
"Yes, I am aware of the 11 new counts against R. Kelly. Yes, all new counts are related to my case. Yes, I know his fans are mad about it. Please, DO NOT contact me telling me how I'm wrong for pursuing criminal charges all of these years later. Blah! No matter how 'wrong' you think I am, the law is on my side, a MINOR at the time. Carry on."
The fact that she has had to deal with Kelly's fans being hateful towards her for seeking justice is absolutely disgusting. It is already horrifying enough that Kelly still has fans, let alone fans that are willing to defend him for being a sexual abuser. It does not matter how catchy you think his songs are or how "iconic" you believe he is. There is plenty of music in the world that has been created by artists that are good human beings (and Kelly is not one of them). You should be ashamed to be taking the side of a sexual abuser. Pace and the countless other women that Kelly has forced himself on deserve to be believed. They have been silenced for far too long.
I am one hundred percent certain that those of you that are standing by Kelly's side are doing so because you are terrified of women. You are terrified that we are empowering one another and raising our voices. You are terrified that we are demanding respect. You are terrified that you are also going to be caught for abusing women. And guess what? You should be. This is only the beginning. One by one, every single sexual abuser and rapist will be exposed and punished for their crimes. And nothing could make me happier than that.