R. Kelly gets a break, charges dropped in sexual abuse case

Disgraced R&B singer R. Kelly dodged at least one bullet in the litany of outstanding charges against him when a Minnesota prosecutor opted not to proceed with another sexual abuse charge from a woman who alleges Kelly sexually abused her as a teenager. The woman and her attorney, Gloria Allred, are outraged at the Hennepin County prosecutor’s decision not to go forward with the case, saying that the alleged victim is being denied her day in court and right to due process. 

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office said its decision was reached because Kelly was already serving concurrent prison sentences that will keep him behind bars until nearly his death, the Associated Press reported. While prosecutors acknowledged that bringing the case to trial would be beneficial for the accuser, they also reasoned that no result of the trial would change his status as a prisoner.

“The overwhelming impact of proceeding to trial in this case on the survivor victim, the community, and the Hennepin County legal system would be enormous while a conviction would not add any additional time in prison,” the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2021 on federal racketeering and sex trafficking charges. He was also sentenced to 20 years in prison in a Chicago federal court on charges of child pornography and enticement of a minor. In February of this year, Kelly was sentenced to one more year in prison for child pornography.

The Minnesota woman, identified only as Jane Doe that she was “sad” that charges from 2019 had been dropped, and disappointed that she would not have the opportunity to testify against Kelly in court.

“As a surviving victim of R. Kelly, I feel sad about the fact that Hennepin County Attorney’s Office in Minnesota decided not to hold him accountable for what he did to me when I was a minor,” Jane Doe’s statement said. “If there had been a criminal trial, I would have been willing to testify against R. Kelly. Even though it wouldn’t have brought any extra prison time for him, it would have given me closure.”

The Hennepin County prosecutor asserts though that the decision not to charge Kelly in this decades-old case stems from the fact that the former megastar sentences mean the he may likely die in prison.

“Mr. Kelly is potentially looking at the possibility of never walking out of prison again for the crimes that he’s committed,” Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said at the time in reference to his then-two federal convictions. “While today’s cases are no longer being pursued, we believe justice has been served.”

Although Kelly’s sentences are to run concurrently, he is expected to be incarcerated until he is in his late 80s in the year 2066.

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