IG news Update,
A Chicago prosecutor said Monday that she plans to charge singer R.J. Kelly, which should guarantee that the disgraced R&B star will be locked up for decades.
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Fox announced the decision a day before a hearing related to the state’s charges accusing him of sexually abusing four people, three of whom were minors. She said she would ask a judge to dismiss the charges on Tuesday.
Foxx, who in 2019 pleaded with women and girls to come forward so she could pursue the charges against Kelly, acknowledged the decision could be “disheartening” for her accusers.
“Mr. Kelly is potentially looking at never getting out of prison again for the crimes he committed,” the prosecutor said, referring to his federal convictions.
Since Kelly was indicted in Cook County in 2019, federal juries in Chicago and New York have convicted him of a slew of crimes, including child pornography, solicitation, racketeering and sex trafficking, alleging That they victimized women and girls.
Kelly, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, is serving a 30-year prison sentence in the New York case and awaits sentencing February 23 in Chicago federal court. He’s appealing to those convictions. Based on the New York conviction alone, the 56-year-old would not be eligible for release until he turns 80.
Foxx said she reached out to Kelly’s attorney two weeks ago to indicate that the charges may be dropped. He also spoke to the women whose allegations were at the center of the case.
Foxx praised “the courage it took for her to come forward”.
Messages seeking comment from Kelly’s attorney were not immediately returned.
Prosecutors sometimes choose to proceed with more trials out of concern that convictions elsewhere may be overturned during appeal. They see the opportunity for additional conviction as insurance.
“We did not do a monetary cost-benefit analysis,” Foxx said, adding that, however, resources now spent on a trial could be used “in advocacy for other survivors of sexual abuse.”
Another sexual misconduct case is pending in Hennepin County, Minnesota, where the Grammy Award winner is accused of solicitation. That case was also in abeyance while the federal cases were ongoing. Minnesota prosecutors have not said whether they still intend to take Kelly to trial.
Known for sex-infused songs like the smash hits “I Believe I Can Fly” and “Bump n’ Grind,” Kelly sold millions of albums even after allegations of abuse of young girls went public in the 1990s. Sell it. He pleaded guilty to child pornography charges in Chicago in 2008, when a jury acquitted him.
The widespread outcry over Kelly’s sexual misconduct did not come to a head until the #MeToo reckoning and the release of the Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly” in early 2019.
Foxx announced the Cook County charges months before the federal cases in New York and Chicago. Foxx’s office alleges that he repeatedly sought out girls for sex, including one he met at his 16th birthday party and another who met Kelleher while he was on trial in 2008.
Federal prosecutors in New York told jurors at his 2021 trial that Kelly used his entourage of managers and associates to meet with the girls and keep them compliant, an operation that prosecutors described as a criminal enterprise.
Last year, prosecutors in 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 assault him. to sacrifice. Four accused testified.
While prosecutors in that case won convictions on six of the 13 counts against him, the government lost the marquee count—that Kelly and his then-business manager successfully rigged a 2008 child pornography trial.
Associated Press reporter Ed White in Detroit contributed to this story.