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Hennepin County drops case against R. Kelly after federal convictions

Hennepin County drops case against R. Kelly after federal convictions
Hennepin County drops case against R. Kelly after federal convictions 00:33

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Hennepin County Attorney's Office says it is dropping its case against disgraced singer R. Kelly, after he was federally convicted of child pornography and child sex crimes.

The office says that it is dismissing the case against the 56-year-old due to the federal convictions "for which he received lengthy federal prison sentences and will likely spend the rest of his life in prison." In a statement, the office said the trial would have an "overwhelming impact" on the survivor and community, while a conviction would not add any time in prison. 

Former Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman brought charges against Kelly in 2019, accusing him of prostitution involving a minor. 

The alleged crimes happened on July of 2001; Kelly gave out his phone number to a 17-year-old girl during an autograph session and directed her to a downtown Minneapolis hotel, where she allegedly took off her clothes to dance for him for $200, documents said.

The HCAO said on Tuesday that there is no evidence that the victim was a sex worker. 

"We continue to believe she is a victim of Mr. Kelly's predatory behavior. We believed then and continue to believe the victim survivor as to what Mr. Kelly did to her in this case," the HCAO said in a statement. "And we continue to hold the unwavering position that Mr. Kelly would likely be convicted of these charges if the case proceeded to trial."

WATCH: The Gayle King interview with R. Kelly

When Freeman brought the case forward, Kelly was already facing several sex crime charges from Illinois and New York. 

The three-time Grammy award winner was sentenced by a federal judge in February to 20 years in prison for child pornography convictions. He'll serve nearly all of the sentence concurrently to a 30-year prison sentence imposed last year on racketeering charges in New York.

The woman in the case released a statement shortly after the HCAO announcement on Tuesday, saying that she is "sad" that the office "decided not to hold him accountable for what he did to me when I was a minor."

"If there had been a criminal trial, I would have been willing to testify against R. Kelly. Even though it wouldn't have brought any extra prison time for him, it would have given me closure. I didn't come forward for money or fame. I came forward because I was one of his surviving victims and needed justice as this has been weighing heavily on me for over 20 years. What R. Kelly did to me impacted my life in many ways and will continue to hurt me for the rest of my life" she said.

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