An associate of R. Kelly received an 8-year prison sentence on Wednesday, Nov. 17, after he torched the car of one of the embattled rapper's victims who lived in Florida in an attempt to stop her from testifying against the former R&B star.

Michael Williams, a 38-year-old man from Georgia, reportedly went from his home state to Florida in June 2020 and poured gasoline on the SUV of a potential witness, which was parked at her house. He then started a fire in front of the residents of the home, after which they called the police on him, according to Law&Crime.

“The victim-witness’s mother called 911 and told the 911 operator that her grandchildren, whose cries can be heard in the background of the call, were in the home and they were unsure if it was safe to remain in the house given the fire risk outside,” prosecutors said about the event.

At the time, Kelly’s sex trafficking trial was pending. Kelly was found guilty in September 2021 for sex trafficking as well as racketeering, a case that had nine women and two men accusing Kelly of differing sexual crimes, BBC reported.

The victim, identified only as Jane Doe, did not attend the hearing, but Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Cruz Melendez read a statement from her talking about the feelings she had about the situation and how it has impacted her life.

“My mental state deteriorated tremendously due to fear, invasion of privacy, and trauma among many other things. Because of your actions, I live in fear and have had to relocate my entire life,” Melendez said.

“Intimidating witnesses and threatening the safety of crime victims undermine the very fabric of our judicial system and will never be tolerated,” U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said. “This Office will bring all of its resources to bear against those who commit dangerous acts of violence to silence victims and interfere with the administration of justice.”

Michael Williams, a Georgian native who is a known associate of R. Kelly, has been convicted of witness intimidation after he set a potential witness's car on fire. This is a representational image. Hush Naidoo Jade Photography/Unsplash.

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