Already facing decades behind bars, disgraced R&B singer R. Kelly won’t go to trial on a litany of sexual abuse and misconduct charges in Cook County following multiple convictions in similar cases in federal court.
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx on Monday announced her office will be dropping its case against Kelly — nearly four years after he was arrested and charged with multiple counts of sexual assault and abuse.
“Mr. Kelly is potentially looking at possibility of never walking out of prison again for the crimes he has committed,” Foxx said at a press conference Monday. “While today’s cases are no longer being pursued, we believe justice has been served in the sentences that have already been handed down to Mr. Kelly.”
Prosecutors will officially dismiss Kelly’s charges during a hearing Tuesday.
The Cook County case was the first in a wave of criminal charges filed against the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer in jurisdictions across the country. Kelly was later charged in a racketeering case in New York, a child pornography and sexual abuse case in Chicago’s federal court and in a solicitation of a minor case in Minnesota.
Kelly, 56, was convicted in New York and sentenced last year to 30 years in prison. He was then convicted on multiple child pornography-related charges in federal court in Chicago last year — though he was acquitted on some other counts. He is scheduled to be sentenced in that case next month and faces 10 to 90 years in prison.
According to Foxx, because there were ongoing investigations across multiple jurisdictions, there was never a realistic possibility of a plea bargain with Kelly in Cook County.
Foxx lauded the bravery of Kelly’s accusers who came forward and shared their stories of abuse, and said her office initially filed charges against Kelly becuase they believed the accusers’ stories to be credible. She also noted that not all of the alleged victims were satisfied with Monday’s announcement.
“We do have a survivor who is disappointed that she would not have her day in court,” Foxx said. “It took a tremendous amount of resources of the past four years and we believe those resources were well spent. But ... we have a significant number of cases and survivors who are equally in need of the resources that have been expended for Mr. Kelly’s cases.”
During the Chicago federal trial, four separate accusers testified under pseudonyms — including “Jane,” as well as “Pauline,” “Tracy” and “Nia” — that Kelly had coerced them into illicit sexual activity when they were underage. Another alleged victim, referred to as “Brittany,” never testified.
“Jane,” the government’s key witness, told jurors that she indeed was the 14-year-old girl with Kelly in the three separate sex videos shown to jurors at trial. Prosecutors also alleged Kelly recorded a fourth tape with “Jane” and his ex-girlfriend Lisa Van Allen, but that tape was never shown to jurors in this case and Kelly was acquitted on the one charge related to that video.
Allegations that Kelly was abusing “Jane” were also at the center of the singer’s 2008 child pornography trial in Cook County, but “Jane” didn’t testify in that case and Kelly was ultimately acquitted.
Kelly remains held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago.