Evidence ruled inadmissible in court.

Florida prosecutors dropped child pornography charges against R&B singer R. Kelly today (March 17), six days after a judge ruled sex photos were illegally seized from his home.

Prosecutors in central Florida had charged Kelly with 12 counts of possessing child pornography in January 2003, based on photos that Polk County deputies said showed him engaged in sex acts with a girl under 18.

Circuit Judge Dennis Maloney ruled last Thursday (March 11) that the warrant used to seize the digital photos from Kelly's home was based on insufficient evidence and the pictures were inadmissible in court.

Prosecutors filed paperwork with the court clerk's office on Wednesday to drop the charges, said Chip Thullbery, a spokesman for the Polk County State Attorney's Office.

"Without the evidence, we can't proceed," he said.

Kelly, who is known for the explicit carnality of some of his music with song titles such as "Sex Me," "Your Body's Callin"' and "Bump n' Grind," had denied the charges and was out on bail awaiting trial. He would have faced up to 60 years in prison if convicted on the Florida charges.

He also faces child pornography charges in Cook County, Ill., but won a court victory several weeks ago when prosecutors dropped seven of the 21 child pornography charges he had faced there.

Kelly pleaded not guilty to the Illinois charges, which stem from a 26-minute videotape that allegedly depicted the singer in sex acts with a girl who police say was 14 at the time.

Kelly denied he was the person on the tape, but bootleg copies became hot sellers on street corners.

--Reuters

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