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Illinois prosecutor drops remaining criminal charges against R. Kelly

The Cook County prosecutor said she believes justice has already been served against the disgraced singer, given his federal convictions in both New York and Chicago.

CHICAGO (CN) — Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx announced Monday afternoon that her office will no longer be pursuing the four remaining criminal indictments against R. Kelly in Chicago.

Prosecutors will officially file to drop the county charges against Kelly, all of which involve sexual abuse, on Tuesday morning.

Foxx said that her office's work contributed to Kelly's 2021 federal sex trafficking conviction in New York, as well as his 2022 federal child porn conviction in Chicago.

"Our office's support... led to the convictions in both the Eastern District of New York and the Northern District of Illinois," the prosecutor said in a Monday afternoon press conference.

Kelly, now 56, is currently serving a 30-year sentence from his New York conviction. Sentencing for his Chicago conviction is scheduled for Feb. 23 of this year, with the former R&B star potentially looking at an additional 10 to 90 years behind bars. He is currently in custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago.

"Mr. Kelly is looking at significant jail time. We believe... that justice has been served," Foxx said.

The four Cook County indictments against Kelly were all filed in February 2019, and are interconnected with the federal charges which have since overshadowed them. Foxx credited the 2019 Lifetime documentary series "Surviving R. Kelly" for spurring her office's re-examination of decades of sexual abuse allegations against the singer. A Cook County grand jury indicted Kelly on 21 child porn charges in 2002, but he was acquitted of all of them in a 2008 trial.

Foxx stressed that she believed county prosecutors could have secured convictions from the four remnant cases had they gone to trial, but that her office's "limited resources" were better spent elsewhere.

“Our office has decided not to expend our limited resources and court time with the indictments," she said, adding in a later statement that "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.” 

Even successful convictions in state court would matter little given that Kelly will likely spend the rest of his life in prison anyway, Foxx argued. She also said that her office dropping the charges in no way implied that the accusations against Kelly were without merit, nor that it was "an indication that we don't see [Kelly's victims]."

"For those who were seeking to have their day in court here in Illinois, I know this announcement may be disappointing," Foxx said.

Foxx told reporters that she had informed Kelly's lead attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, of her office's decision to dismiss the Cook County charges two weeks ago. Bonjean is also seeking an acquittal of Kelly's federal conviction in Chicago, arguing in a Nov. 16 filing that one of the government's expert witnesses gave perjured testimony.

Bonjean's office did respond to a call for comment Monday.

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