R. Kelly looking at jail without bond, life in prison if convicted

ByChuck Goudie and Barb Markoff and Christine Tressel WLS logo
Saturday, February 23, 2019
R. Kelly looking at jail without bond, life in prison if convicted
Chuck Goudie and the ABC7 I-Team have been investigating R. Kelly's conduct since 2003 when the Chicago singing star was arrested in Florida on child pornography charges.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- This time, the legal odds are not good for Chicago R & B star R. Kelly, according to experts questioned by the ABC7 I-Team.

Kelly is looking at life in prison if convicted of the child sex charges he now faces, said a former Cook County prosecutor who supervised the last criminal case against Kelly-one in which the Chicago singer was acquitted.

That was a child pornography case that went to trial in 2008. The young alleged victim, Kelly's goddaughter, refused to testify against him. Despite video evidence, a Cook County jury acquitted Kelly.

"Times have changed out. Looks like he's going up against four live witnesses who are going to come forward and this is a game changer," said former Cook County assistant state's attorney Robert Milan who supervised the '08 child pornography case.

The Friday arrest paperwork for Kelly is a "no bail" warrant and Milan said Saturday prosecutors should ask for no bond for Kelly. arguing he is a public safety risk.

"They can file a motion asking for no bond it's discretionary with the judge," Milan told the ABC7 I-Team. "They can essentially argue he's a threat to society-that this is an ongoing pervasive behavior on his part against young girls and it has to stop."

With possible video evidence again this time, and the testimony of the four alleged victims, Kelly risks certain jail time with either a plea deal or a potential loss at trial, according to former federal prosecutor and ABC7 legal analyst Gil Soffer.

"There's no reason to think right now that he won't try to fight this," said Soffer. "If he gives up he is looking at some serious, serious jail time."

Friday evening Kelly was described by his attorney as "extraordinarily disappointed and depressed." The lawyer, Steve Greenberg, also said that he offered to have a sit-down meeting with prosecutors where he could explain why the "charges are baseless." That didn't happen. His next meeting with prosecutors will be sitting in front of a Cook County judge, Saturday morning, at the criminal courthouse.


Chuck Goudie sat down with Bob Milan, former federal prosecutor and supervising prosecutor for the first R. Kelly trial, to talk about the 2008 case and how this case may be differ

R. Kelly was acquitted on child pornography charges in Cook County in 2008. Those charges arose from graphic video that prosecutors said showed him having sex with a girl as young as 13. He and the young woman allegedly seen with him denied they were in the 27-minute video, even though the picture quality was good and witnesses testified it was them, and she did not take the stand. Kelly could have gotten 15 years in prison.

Bob Milan was the supervising prosecutor back then and is now an ABC 7 Legal Analyst.

Today, he sat down with Investigative Reporter Chuck Goudie, to talk about the hurdles prosecutors faced 11 years ago and why this time around the outcome in court could be much different.