Chicago prosecutor drops sexual abuse charges against American R&B singer R Kelly
A top prosecutor in Chicago’s Cook County is dropping sexual abuse charges levelled against disgraced R&B star R Kelly. However, his 2021 and 2022 federal court convictions ensure that the singer won’t be escaping jail anytime soon.
According to Entertainment Weely, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx announced the news on Monday, a day before a hearing about state charges accusing Kelly of sexually abusing four people, three of whom were minors. Foxx said she would ask the judge at the hearing to dismiss charges against the ‘Backyard Party’ singer.
“I understand how hard it was for these victims to come forward and tell their stories,” Foxx said in a statement. “I applaud their courage and have the utmost respect for everyone who came forward. While this may not be the result they were expecting, due to the sentences that Mr Kelly is facing, we do feel that justice has been served.”
She added, “My office will direct our resources to find justice for other victims of sexual abuse who do not have the power of a documentary to bring their abusers to light.”
Kelly, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, is currently serving a 30-year prison sentence after being convicted of racketeering and sex trafficking in New York in 2021. He is also to be sentenced next month in Chicago federal court after he was found guilty on child pornography and enticement charges last September. Kelly, 56, faces 10 to 90 years in prison in the Chicago case, according to EW.
Allegations of sexual abuse have long shadowed the singer but it wasn’t until the rise of the #MeToo movement and the docu-series Surviving R. Kelly that public pressure mounted for authorities to take action.
The Cook County indictment was announced in 2019, before the federal cases in New York and Chicago. Core to the New York case was Kelly’s relationship with the late singer Aaliyah, whom he married when she was 15 years old.