Chicago Prosecutor to Drop Sex Abuse Charges Against R. Kelly, Citing Long Federal Sentence

The Cook County State's Attorney said Kelly's state charges are being dropped because he will already be serving decades in prison for other convictions

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 22: Singer R. Kelly appears in court for a hearing to request that he be allowed to travel to Dubai at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on March 22, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. R. Kelly appeared before a judge to request permission to travel to Dubai to perform in concerts. (Photo by E. Jason Wambsgans-Pool/Getty Images)
R. Kelly. Photo: Jason Wambsgans-Pool/Getty

Illinois prosecutors are opting to drop state sex-abuse charges against disgraced R&B singer R. Kelly, according to a statement from the Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx, who cites Kelly's decades-long sentences in his New York and Illinois federal cases as to why the state charges are being dropped.

"Today, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx announced that her office is dropping counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse charges against Robert Kelly involving four victims," the Jan. 30 statement reads, saying that since Foxx's office first filed charges against him in 2019, Kelly has also been charged in New York and Illinois Federal Courts.

Kelly — nee Robert Sylvester Kelly — was convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison in a New York court in June 2022, and was also convicted of three counts of child pornography and three counts of child enticement in Illinois federal court in September 2022. Kelly faces a minimum of 10 to 90 years in prison in the Illinois federal case (he has not yet been sentenced).

"I understand how hard it was for these victims to come forward and tell their stories. I applaud their courage and have the utmost respect for everyone who came forward," State's Attorney Foxx said in the statement, also acknowledging that the news may be hurtful for his victims.

"While this may not be the result they were expecting, due to the sentences that Mr. Kelly is facing, we do feel that justice has been served. My office will direct our resources to find justice for other victims of sexual abuse who do not have the power of a documentary to bring their abusers to light," the statement continues.

One of Kelly's alleged victims, Lanita Carter, told the Associated Press she was unhappy with the new development. "I have spent nearly 20 years hoping that my abuser would be brought to justice for what he did to me. With today's announcement, all hope of justice for my case is gone," she told the outlet, adding, "Justice has been denied for me."

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Kelly is currently serving a 30-year sentence in the New York case and won't be eligible for release until he's elderly. On Feb. 23 he will be sentenced in Chicago federal court for the charges there. Another sexual misconduct case is still pending in Minnesota, per the Associated Press.

Kelly has maintained his innocence throughout his legal troubles.

He has been in custody since 2019.

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