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R. Kelly Won’t Face State Charges in Illinois Following Dual Federal Convictions

The state attorney said charges will be dropped to preserve "limited resources" in light of Kelly's 30-year sentence in New York and pending sentencing in Illinois.

All state-level charges filed against R. Kelly in Cook County, Illinois, have been dropped, state attorney Kim Foxx announced at a press conference Monday (Jan. 30). Kelly is scheduled to appear in court on the indictments, which include 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, on Tuesday morning.

In making the announcement, Foxx reiterated Kelly’s convictions in federal court in New York and Illinois to explain the prosecutors’ decision. “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 Mr. Kelly [with],” she said.


In the New York federal case, Kelly was found guilty in September 2021 on all nine counts, including racketeering and sex trafficking; he was sentenced to 30 years in prison the following June. In September, he was convicted on three counts of child pornography in the Illinois federal case but acquitted of a conspiracy to obstruct justice charge that stemmed from an accusation that he’d fixed his state child pornography trial in 2008. Though he has not yet been sentenced in that case, he faces between 10 and 90 years in prison, according to Foxx.

Foxx — who previously revealed her own history as a victim of sexual abuse — grew visibly emotional during her time at the podium as she admitted that for the four victims in the state case, the outcome “may be disappointing. But I want to acknowledge that when we brought these charges forward, we brought them because we believed the allegations to be credible. And we believed that they deserved to have the opportunity to have the allegations heard.

“These women, both those who are named in our indictments and the women in New York and in the Northern District of Illinois, are to be commended for their bravery and their relentless pursuit of justice, no matter how long it took,” she continued.

Despite Foxx’s weighty and considered comments Monday, the announcement isn’t particularly surprising in light of Kelly’s dual convictions in federal court. After the disgraced singer was found guilty in the New York case, criminal defense attorney Isabelle A. Kirshner told Billboard that local jurisdictions in Illinois as well as Minnesota — where he still faces state charges — may choose to drop some of all of the charges in order to preserve resources.

Based on the New York sentence alone, Kelly won’t be eligible for release until he is around 80 years old.