Charges against R. Kelly to be dropped due to ‘extensive sentences’ in federal cases

An inmate in an orange jumpsuit looks down.
R. Kelly exits a courtroom during a September 2019 hearing in Chicago.
(Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune / Associated Press)

The state of Illinois is dropping its slew of charges against convicted sex offender R. Kelly, Cook County State’s Attorney Atty. Kim Foxx announced at a news conference Monday in Chicago.

The 56-year-old R&B singer — full name Robert Sylvester Kelly — was sentenced last year to 30 years in prison after convictions in federal court in New York, and he faces an additional 10 to 90 years when he is sentenced Feb. 23 in Chicago for convictions in federal court in Illinois. Between the two federal trials, he was found guilty of sex trafficking, racketeering, production of child porn and more.

“Due to the extensive sentences that these convictions hold, our office has decided not to continue to expend our limited resources and court time with the indictments that we previously charged [against] Mr. Kelly,” Foxx said at a Monday news conference.


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The announcement came a day before a court hearing on the state charges was scheduled to occur. Foxx said prosecutors would instead ask the court to dismiss the charges.

Kelly had been indicted in Cook County on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse linked to allegations made by four women. Three of the women were underage at the time of the alleged crimes.

“These women, all of them Black, came forward believing that they would be heard,” Foxx said.

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She added, “I want to acknowledge that when we brought these charges ... we brought them because we believed the allegations to be credible and we believed that they deserved the opportunity to have the allegations heard.”

Foxx, whose office asked for victims to come forward in 2019, said the four women should be “commended for their bravery and their relentless pursuit of of justice, no matter how long it took.”

She said some evidence that emerged thanks to that 2019 solicitation was used to convict Kelly in federal court.