A woman who claims R. Kelly sexually abused her as a teenager said she is being denied “closure” after prosecutors in Minnesota on Wednesday dropped sex abuse charges against the disgraced singer.
The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office said its decision was reached because Kelly was already serving concurrent prison sentences that will keep him behind bars until nearly his death, the Associated Press reported. While prosecutors acknowledged that bringing the case to trial would be beneficial for the accuser, they also reasoned that no result of the trial would change his status as a prisoner.
“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,” the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
But the woman, whose claims sparked two criminal counts of engaging in prostitution with a minor and hiring a minor to engage in sexual acts, said she had planned on testifying — an opportunity her lawyer Gloria Allred said she had been looking forward to for decades.
The accuser, identified only as Jane Doe, said in her own statement that she was “sad” that charges from 2019 had been dropped.
“As a surviving victim of R. Kelly, I feel sad about the fact that Hennepin County Attorney’s Office in Minnesota decided not to hold him accountable for what he did to me when I was a minor,” Jane Doe’s statement said. “If there had been a criminal trial, I would have been willing to testify against R. Kelly. Even though it wouldn’t have brought any extra prison time for him, it would have given me closure.”
The woman sued Kelly in 2021, but the state of that lawsuit was unclear since the disgraced singer is reportedly unable to defend himself.
Charges similarly dropped before
In January, Chicago’s chief prosecutor also dropped charges against Kelly for similar reasons stated by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
“Mr. Kelly is potentially looking at the possibility of never walking out of prison again for the crimes that he’s committed,” Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said at the time in reference to his then-two federal convictions. “While today’s cases are no longer being pursued, we believe justice has been served.”
R. Kelly’s prison time
Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2021, after being found guilty in New York of racketeering and sex trafficking. This comes after he has been accused of sexual violence towards women and young girls for over three decades.
Kelly received another 20-year sentence in a Chicago federal trial earlier this year for child sex crimes. However, all but one year will be served concurrently with the New York sentence.
In February of this year, Kelly was sentenced to one more year in prison for child pornography.
As a result, his sentences are expected to last until he is in his late 80s in the year 2066.
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