Singer R. Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges on Friday, putting an end to a six-year ordeal for the singer/songwriter/producer, who in 2002 was accused of engaging in sex acts with an underaged girl.
The Cook County jury on the case deliberated for 7 1/2 hours before finding Kelly, 41, innocent on all 14 counts. Upon hearing the verdict, “R. Kelly looked relieved,” said an onlooker.
Prosecutors had claimed that Kelly was in a graphic video that was mailed to the Chicago Sun-Times in 2002 with a girl as young as 13. Both Kelly and the alleged victim, who is now 23, denied they were the ones on the tape. Neither of them testified during the month-long trial.
Kelly did not speak to the media after the trial, but was seen hugging fans outside the courtroom.
“R. Kelly was found not guilty because they had the best jury that Cook County could produce,” said the R&B star’s attorney Sam Adam Jr. “R. Kelly got his name back.”
Cook County State’s Attorney General, Richard Devine, said, “As we must, we accept the verdict of the jury in this case. This prosecution is one we have no reservations about.”
• Reporting by TIFFANY MCGEE