Doc­u­men­tary puts new at­ten­tion on R. Kelly sex al­le­ga­tions

Pawtucket Times - - VALLEY / NATION - By RUS­SELL CON­TR­ERAS and MICHAEL TARM

R. Kelly, one of the top-sell­ing record­ing artists of all time, has been dogged for years by al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual mis­con­duct in­volv­ing women and un­der­age girls — ac­cu­sa­tions he and his at­tor­neys have long de­nied.

But an Illi­nois pros­e­cu­tor’s plea for po­ten­tial vic­tims and witnesses to come for­ward and new protests have sparked hope among some ad­vo­cates that the R&B star might face crim­i­nal charges.

“Please come for­ward. There’s noth­ing that can be done to in­ves­ti­gate these al­le­ga­tions with­out co­op­er­a­tion be­tween vic­tims and witnesses,” Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said Tuesday at a news con­fer­ence in Chicago. “We can­not seek jus­tice with­out you.”

Still, some le­gal ex­perts and prose­cu­tors say it may be dif­fi­cult to bring charges. Ac­cusers and witnesses would have to speak out, and even then, prose­cu­tors could have a hard time winning a con­vic­tion.

In re­cent days, Kelly has faced in­creased pres­sure from ad­vo­cates who have protested out­side of his Chicago stu­dio and de­manded that po­lice in­ves­ti­gate al­le­ga­tions against mi­nors.

The lat­est at­ten­tion comes days af­ter Life­time aired the doc­u­men­tary “Sur­viv­ing R. Kelly,” which re­vis­ited old al­le­ga­tions and brought new ones into the spot­light. The se­ries fol­lows the BBC’s “R Kelly: Sex, Girls & Video­tapes,” which was re­leased last year. It al­leged that the singer was hold­ing women against their will and run­ning a “sex cult.”

Ac­tivists from the #MeToo and #MuteRKelly so­cial me­dia move­ments have seized on the re­newed at­ten­tion to call for stream­ing ser­vices to cen­sor Kelly’s mu­sic and pro­mot­ers not to book any more con­certs.

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