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Making sense of the charges

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Court is dark today, but I’ve been thinking about the case over the weekend. My Facebook friend Veronica asked me why the media isn’t talking about child rape in this child pornography case. Good question. I called the Cook County State’s Attorney to ask why Kelly isn’t being charged with rape. They wouldn’t give me an answer. I assured them this would not break the gag order. Call a law professor, they said. Instead, while I was at dinner at Exposure on Saturday, I asked my lawyer friend Aysha to shed some light. She said for prosecutors, a child pornography conviction is much more of a home run than statutory rape. The former is a felony and the latter is a misdemeanor. According to Illinois criminal code, child pornography covers engaging in sex as well as videotaping. Kelly is charged with 14 counts of child pornography. “Child” is defined as anyone under the age of 18. Those graphic charges also include the singer allegedly urinating on a girl as young as 13. Now that the court didn’t find any Dave Chappelle-like jurors to thwart the pool, opening statements begin tomorrow. The above image is from a Dave Chappelle sketch spoofing R. Kelly.

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