R Kelly loses appeal to overturn 20-year sentence for child sex abuse

R Kelly's challenge against a 20-year sentence for child sex convictions has been quashed by an appeals court. 

The singer was correctly sentenced to 20 years in prison, a Chicago court ruled on Friday.

He was convicted in 2022 on three charges of producing child sexual abuse images and three charges of enticement of minors for sex.

In his appeal, Kelly, 57, argued Illinois' old statute of limitations - which required prosecution of child sex crime charges within 10 years - should have applied, rather than the current law permitting charges while an accuser is still alive.

The appeals court rejected this, labelling it an attempt by Kelly to elude the charges entirely after "employing a complex scheme to keep victims quiet".

He also argued that charges involving one accuser should have been tried separately from the charges tied to three other accusers due to video evidence that became a focal point of the Chicago trial.

Prosecutors have said the video showed Kelly abusing a girl. The accuser, only identified as Jane, testified for the first time that she was 14 when the video was taken.

The three-judge panel from the appeals court noted jurors acquitted Kelly on seven of the 13 counts against him "even after viewing those abhorrent tapes".

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In a written statement, Kelly's attorney Jennifer Bonjean said they plan to seek a US Supreme Court review of the decision and "pursue all of his appellate remedies until we free R Kelly".

"We are disappointed in the ruling, but our fight is far from over," she said.