Chicago Prosecutor Drops R. Kelly Sex-Abuse Charges, Acknowledges the Decision ‘May Be Disappointing’ to Accusers

Chicago Prosecutor Drops R. Kelly Sex-Abuse Charges, Acknowledges the Decision ‘May Be Disappointing’ to Accusers

Disgraced musician R. Kelly and his legal team have been fighting for his freedom since 2019, when he was arrested on federal sex abuse charges. His latest case involving certain charges was a legal victory for Kelly and his representatives, as prosecutors in the case decided to drop the charges they had against the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer.

R.Kelly | Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2022

The R. Kelly charges came in the wake of Lifetime’s premiere of its Surviving R. Kelly docuseries, which chronicled Kelly’s years of abuse in the words of some of the survivors themselves. After surviving R. Kelly, Kelly was charged in Chicago with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse in February 2019, followed by another 11 counts in May. (In March 2019, he gave his now infamous interview with Gayle King where he claimed his innocence, exclaiming, “I’m fighting for my fucking life.”) In July 2019, a Chicago grand jury charged with 13 counts, including child pornography, incitement to a minor and obstruction of justice.

In 2021, a New York jury found Kelly guilty of charges including child sexual exploitation, racketeering, bribery and sex trafficking. The jury found that prosecutors had proven Kelly was at the head of a criminal conspiracy to recruit and coerce girls, boys and women into having sex. In 2022, he was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

R. Kelly’s Chicago abuse charges dropped

Kelly continued to face charges after his New York sentencing, including a Chicago case involving the sexual abuse of four people, three of them minors. But in January 2023, the prosecutorial team decided to drop the charges.

According to The Associated Press, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx announced she would ask a judge to dismiss the indictments Kelly was facing. Foxx, who in 2019 asked women and girls with stories about Kelly to come forward so she could press charges against him, acknowledged that his decision “may be disappointing” for his accusers who have come forward with their stories.

“Mr. Kelly is potentially considering the possibility of never getting out of prison again for the crimes he committed,” the prosecutor said, referring to Kelly’s federal convictions. “While today’s cases are not further prosecuted, we believe justice has been served.”

Reactions to the abandonment of the case

Kelly’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, was “satisfied” with the prosecution’s decision to drop the charges and leave her client alone. “He has only one life to give. So I don’t know how many sentences upon sentences would satisfy people,” she said.

Meanwhile, Lanita Carter, who claimed she was sexually assaulted by R. Kelly in 2003, said she was “extremely disappointed” with the prosecutor’s decision. volume. With today’s announcement, all hope of justice for my case is gone,” she said, adding that she trusted Foxx and her office with her story and the hope that she would bring him to justice. “Justice has been denied to me,” she said.

In December 2022, Kelly released a prison album titled I Admit It.

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