Hennepin County dismisses R. Kelly child prostitution case due to existing prison sentences
The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday it will dismiss a criminal case against R&B singer and convicted sex offender R. Kelly alleging sex crimes against a minor in Minneapolis.
In a statement, the attorney’s office said it believed Kelly would be convicted if the case went to trial but chose to dismiss the case because it wouldn’t add any prison time to his existing federal sentences.
“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,” a news release stated.
Kelly, 56, is set to remain in prison until he is 80 years old.
According to a criminal complaint, the singer, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, met the victim while signing autographs for fans at City Center before a concert on July 11, 2001, in Minneapolis. Kelly passed the victim his phone number, and when she contacted it, she was given instructions to meet him at his hotel room downtown.
At the hotel room, Kelly paid the victim, who was 17 at the time, to dance nude while he touched her. He then gave her backstage passes to attend his concert, even though it was an 18+ show.
The victim reported the incident to Minneapolis police 18 years later, and the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office brought charges of prostitution of a minor against Kelly. The attorney’s office clarified on Tuesday that “those charges fit Mr. Kelly’s alleged conduct of providing inducements to lure the juvenile victim to the place where the crime was committed” and that the victim was a survivor of sexual abuse, not a sex worker.
In a statement through her attorney, the victim, who remains anonymous, expressed her dismay that the charges were being dropped and said she would have been willing to testify against Kelly at trial.
“Even though it wouldn’t have brought any extra prison time for him, it would have given me closure,” she said.
“I didn’t come forward for money or fame. I came forward because I was one of his surviving victims and needed justice as this has been weighing heavily on me for over 20 years,” the victim-survivor added. “What R. Kelly did to me impacted my life in many ways and will continue to hurt me for the rest of my life.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.