R. Kelly has long avoided prosecution and conviction for his allegedly long known sex crimes against minors and young women. On Oscar weekend, in a made for TV movie moment, his free time may soon be coming to an end. In a surprise move, according to the Chicago Sun Times, today the Cook County state’s attorney charged R. Kelly with 10 counts of aggravated sex abuse. A Cook County Grand Jury indicted Kelly. The charges stem from 4 victims who were under age and involve incidents that occurred between 1998 and 2010. Aggravated criminal sex abuse is a felony which carries a range of 3-7 years if convicted.
R. Kelly has avoided conviction in a past trial but the tide may be changing. His time may soon be up. He is the sex pied piper of young underage girls of lewd sex acts and alleged imprisonment, according to many reports and a recent documentary, Surviving R. Kelly. Despite past allegations, women of all ages still flock to his concerts. And his song, I Believe I could Fly is routinely played on many Black gospel radio stations across the country every Sunday.
In a made for TV movie twist, porn star Stormy Daniels’s attorney, may be the reason for the charges being placed. Michael Avenatti allegedly produced (and/or represents) one women who may have given Cook County Grand Jury testimony. Sometimes fact is stranger than fiction.
Two other women who were under age at the time allege sex acts at a Baltimore concert in 1995. If so, Kelly could face charges in Baltimore—if the statute of limitations is not expired. Felony sex offenses have no statute of limitations in Maryland. As a former Baltimore prosecutor, I have prosecuted sex crimes. They are tough crimes to obtain a conviction. The Baltimore women may have some proof of their attending the concert in 1995. And with the tape of the Cook County incidents and perhaps willingness of the victims to testify, it may prove easier. The past case against Kelly resulted in a not guilty verdict.
The documentary Surviving R. Kelly may have paved the way for a fresh look at the singer’s alleged sex crimes and for women to now come forward. If so, Kelly could become the new Bill Cosby—albeit with young under aged (at the time of the offenses) and mostly Black victims. The Baltimore and Chicago cases may be just the tipping point for Kelly. And in another interesting plot twist, both Baltimore and Chicago (Cook County) have Black women prosecutors, Marilyn Mosby and Kimberly Foxx leading the charge.
Kelly’s Chicago court appearance is March 8.