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Posts Tagged ‘R. Kelly’

R. Kelly May Be Flying to Jail Soon

Friday, February 22nd, 2019

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.

R. Kelly is No Bill Cosby: He’s Worse

Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

The recent docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly, has many folks wondering if R. Kelly will be joining Bill Cosby in prison one day. Multiple state attorneys are looking into investigating possible charges against Kelly. Although a prior 2008 case involving 14 child pornography charges against Kelly was unsuccessful, this time may be different. It’s still too soon to tell if Kelly’s time is up. The docuseries helped to re-ignite the fire but the flame is still low for a prosecution or conviction of R. Kelly.

The issues facing any prosecutor who investigates and brings charges against Kelly will be credibility of witnesses and victims, statute of limitations, solicitation of victims by the prosecutors, length of time to bring charges (assuming the statute has not tolled) and the popularity of R. Kelly.

Unlike most of Bill Cosby’s victims, R. Kelly’s victims are African American and other women of color. A sexual assault case is always difficult to obtain a conviction. A sexual assault or rape case involving a woman of color presents an even further uphill battle due to implicit race bias.

In spite of the docuseries, the popularity of R. Kelly still soared. The streaming of his music soared during the docuseries. Even without the docuseries, Kelly’s “I believe I can fly” is played almost every Sunday on many gospel radio stations and in churches across the country. His “Step in the Name of Love” is played at many wedding receptions. And when the music starts, almost everyone is on their feet dancing to it.

Many of the women who are alleged to have been emotionally manipulated and sexually controlled by Kelly in a cult are over 18 years of age. Consent is a real issue for most sexual assault cases. Unlike Cosby, many of the victims allegedly held captive in Kelly’s orbit are not drugged. They are allegedly held against their will but not by drugs, alcohol or any other substance. They are held against their will allegedly by mind manipulation and psychological tactics by Kelly. Some refuse to come home despite pleas by their families.

In addition, Cook County prosecutor Kim Fox is soliciting potential victims to contact her office. If any of those potential cases lead to an indictment, there will be issues raised of coercion by the prosecution office. I applaud prosecutors who are looking into evidence against Kelly. The docuseries made me physically sick to watch it. The alleged acts were so gross that my heart bled for the victims.

R. Kelly is no Bill Cosby. He’s a much worse predator than Cosby, if the women’s accounts are believed.

Washington, D.C. Debbie Hines is a trial lawyer and former Baltimore prosecutor.