Why R Kelly got jailed for ten years more than Ghislaine Maxwell 1 month ago

Why R Kelly got jailed for ten years more than Ghislaine Maxwell

An expert has explained the numerous factors at play in the sentences

In the past week, two of the most high-profile sex trafficking cases have come to a close after R Kelly and Ghislaine Maxwell were both sentenced to decades behind bars.


On Tuesday (28 June), Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years behind bars for grooming and trafficking teenage girls for Jeffrey Epstein.

Then, the next day, R Kelly was also sentenced for trafficking and sexually abusing women and underage girls. But he was sentenced to 30 years behind bars.

Some were confused though as to why Maxwell had been sentenced to a full decade less than Kelly even though on the surface it appeared as if the crimes they had committed were similar.


Others wondered whether race may have played a part in Maxwell getting off with a lighter sentence.


A legal expert has now explained why this was the case though.

Former assistant United States attorney Neama Rahmani said that there were a number of factors at play that led to the disparity in sentences.

“Many people believe that R Kelly received a longer sentence because he is a black man and Maxwell is white woman,” he said.


But Rahmani said the simple fact of the matter was that "ultimately, what R. Kelly did was worse."

He told Insider: "With R. Kelly, the girls were younger, he allegedly imprisoned them and kidnapped them from their parents, he married Aaliyah when she was 15.

"R. Kelly has a pattern of really bad conduct. He was convicted of racketeering on top of the sex crimes - he was really running a sort of criminal organization for the purpose of sexually abusing young women, and he was directly the one committing the abuse."

Rahmani also suggested on Twitter that Kelly had a tougher judge than Maxwell did, pointing out that Kelly's judge, Ann Donnelly, had been a "prosecutor for years before she was appointed to the bench."


Although there is a manual that judges are required to consult when deciding criminal sentences, it is ultimately at the discretion of the judge what sentence they hand out.

During sentencing, Judge Donnelly said Kelly had taught his victims that "love is enslavement and violence."

She said that sentencing is "probably the most difficult thing that a judge has to do," but that Kelly had used sex as a "weapon" and that his crimes were "calculated and carefully planned and executed with regularity for almost 25 years."

There was also the fact that Kelly showed absolutely no remorse to his victims or offered any form of apology. Maxwell on the other hand did at least offer an apology to her victims, something Rahmani highlighted.

Maxwell said she hoped her sentencing allowed them some "peace and finality," and that meeting Epstein was the "greatest regret of my life."

Rahmani concluded that even though the sex trafficking conduct of Maxwell and Kelly is comparable, "these additional factors put R. Kelly in a worse position than Maxwell at sentencing."



Related links: