Benzino says R. Kelly should be given a second chance, and that he shouldn't have to "rot" in a prison cell for 30 years.

Benzino Says R. Kelly Should Be Given Second Chance

On Wednesday (May 1), a clip from Benzino's interview with the We in Miami Podcast on April 24 began making the rounds on social media. In the clip, which can be seen below, the former co-owner of The Source was speaking on R. Kelly's incarceration for child sexual abuse charges. Benzino argued that Kelly shouldn't have to rot away in jail for 30 years because his victims were only a few years below the age of consent in the U.S., which is 16 years old in a majority of states.

"Again, the legal age is 16 years old," Benzino said around the 12-minute mark below. "Does that make it right if a n***a does it? Yes or no?"

The hosts all collectively agreed it was still "disgusting" and "wrong" for a grown man to date a 16-year-old.

"Alright but it's legal in America," Benzino said. "Why the f**k is R. Kelly doing all this time? You know why because they're 14 and 13. Two years younger. But you don't think that the people who cleared it for 16 years old didn't know that they were f**king with 13, 14-year-olds, too. For the age that young to be the law, you already know they goin' under that. I'm not condoning with little girls, it's sick. Alright, it's sick, but I don't think R. Kelly should rot in jail for 30 years either."

Benzino's comments are both concerning and pale against the reality of what Kelly was accused of. The age of consent in Illinois, where Kelly was found guilty of three child pornography-related counts stands at 17 years old. The age of consent in New York, where Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison for sex crimes against children, is also 17.

Not to mention that Kelly's victims were victims of sexual assault and did not consent. Many of Kelly's victims who spoke out against the singer said he threatened force or used violence to get what he wanted. Kelly additionally was found guilty in part of trafficking young girls over state lines to produce child pornography, which means that none of what Benzino says actually lines up with what Kelly did, and in turn is offensive to the victims of the singer's crimes.

Read More: R. Kelly Fights $10.5 Million Lawsuit, Should Not Be Liable

R. Kelly's Lawyer Tries to Appeal 30-Year Sentence

Benzino's interview comes as R. Kelly's attorneys continue to fight for their client's freedom. In March, documents obtained by XXL showed R. Kelly's attorney Jennifer Bonjean had filed an argument notice on Feb. 7. Bonjean told three judges on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan that prosecutors made a mistake when they charged Kelly with a racketeering statute. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years on sex trafficking charges back in 2022, but Bonjean argued the law used to convict Kelly of racketeering wasn't clear. Bonjean argued that under New York's law, multiple organizations, including college frats, could constitute as racketeering organizations.

Judges did not immediately make a ruling on the appeal.

Read More: Benzino Challenges Eminem to Face-to-Face Rap Battles

Watch Benzino talk about R. Kelly deserving a second chance below.

Watch Benzino Say R. Kelly Deserves a Second Chance

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