By Bahle Gama
Following federal convictions in two courts that should guarantee R Kelly will be locked up for decades, Chicago prosecutor Kim Foxx says she is dropping sexual-abuse charges against the R&B singer.
Kelly, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, is serving a 30-year prison sentence in New York and awaits sentencing on February 23 in Chicago Federal Court. He is reportedly appealing those convictions and based on the New York sentence alone, the 56-year-old will not be eligible for release until he is around 80 years old.
In 2019, Foxx pleaded with women and girls to come forward so she could pursue charges against Kelly and further acknowledged that the decision could be disappointing to his accusers.
“He is potentially looking at the possibility of never walking out of prison again for the crimes he has committed. While today’s cases are no longer being pursued, we believe justice has been served,” said Foxx.
She announced the decision a day ahead of a hearing reported to be related to state charges accusing Kelly of sexually abusing four people, three of whom were minors, and made mentioned that she would ask the judge to dismiss the indictments on Tuesday.
According to reports, since his indictment in Cook County in 2019, Federal Juries in Chicago and New York have reportedly convicted Kelly of a raft of crimes, including child pornography, enticement, racketeering, and sex trafficking related to allegations that he victimized women and girls.
Foxx said she reached out to Kelly’s lawyer two weeks ago to indicate that charges might be dropped and spoke to the women whose allegations were at the heart of the case. She expressed praise for the courage it took for these women to come forward.
Kelly’s alleged victims reportedly shared different sentiments about Foxx’s decision to drop the charges in that some were pleased whilst others were disappointed.
Amongst these was Lanita Carter who said she has spent nearly 20 years hoping Kelly would be brought to justice for what he did to her, having sexually assaulted her in February 2003. She deemed the announcement as justice denied for her.
According to AP News, federal prosecutors in New York told jurors at his 2021 trial that Kelly used his entourage of managers and aides to meet girls and keep them obedient, an operation that prosecutors said amounted to a criminal enterprise.
Last year, prosecutors at Kelly’s federal trial in Chicago portrayed him as a master manipulator who used his fame and wealth to reel in star-struck fans, some of them minors, to sexually abuse and then discard them. Four accusers testified.
While prosecutors won convictions on six of the 13 counts against him in that case, the government lost the marquee count that Kelly and his then-business manager successfully rigged his 2008 child pornography trial.
By Bahle Gama