CHICAGO — Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said Monday that her office will no longer prosecute the four pending criminal cases against disgraced R&B singer R. Kelly.
Cook County prosecutors dropped the 10 counts at a hearing Tuesday at the Leighton Criminal Courts Building.
The decision to drop the charges was prompted by the multi-decade prison sentence that Kelly received last year after he was convicted in federal court in New York. Kelly has yet to be sentenced for his conviction in Chicago’s federal court last year.
“Mr. Kelly is potentially looking at a possibility of never walking out of prison again for the crimes that he’s committed,” Foxx said. “This office, in the pursuit of justice for the victims in our indictment as well as those across the country, worked tirelessly to get us to this point. While today’s cases are no longer being pursued, we believe that justice has been served and the sentences that have already been handed down to Mr. Kelly, as well as the sentence that will come down next month.”
In February 2019, a Cook County grand jury handed up four indictments against Kelly, now 56. He was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four alleged victims, three of whom were under the age of consent. The alleged incidents all occurred between 1998 and 2010.
The charges were brought just weeks after the docu-series “Surving R. Kelly” aired and prompted renewed scrutiny of Kelly, who was charged in 2002 with 21 counts of child pornography.
Foxx said she personally spoke with each of the four alleged victims before making the final determination to drop the charges. She told reporters that she was confident her office would have secured convictions had the four cases proceeded to trial.
“We brought the charges believing that we had sufficient evidence to support findings of guilt in the court of law,” Foxx said. “That’s why we brought them.”
In 2019, months after Foxx’s office brought charges against Kelly, he was also charged by federal prosecutors in both New York and Chicago. The New York case went to trial first, and Kelly was convicted in 2021 of sexual exploitation of a child, racketeering, bribery and sex trafficking. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison, though he is appealing.
Last September, a federal jury in Chicago found Kelly guilty of three counts of child pornography and three counts of enticement of a child. The child pornography counts stemmed directly from the same video that was at the heart of his 2002 case. His sentencing in that case is scheduled for next month.
Kelly also faces charges of engaging in prostitution with a minor and soliciting a minor for sexual purposes in Hennepin County, Minnesota. Those charges were also announced in 2019, but, like the Cook County charges, they were largely paused while the federal cases proceeded.