Minnesota prosecutors filed four new charges against embattled singer R. Kelly who is in a federal jail awaiting trial on numerous sexual misconduct allegations. According to USA Today, Kelly is charged with two counts of prostitution and solicitation involving a girl under the age of 18. The counts are in addition to the current state and federal charges filed against Kelly by prosecutors in New York and Illinois.
The alleged incident occurred in 2001 when a 17-year-old girl met Kelly at his concert in Minnesota. The girl asked Kelly for an autograph, which he gave to her along with a phone number. After calling the number, she was purportedly invited to Kelly’s hotel room to dance and take off her clothes in exchange for $200. Allegedly, she danced with Kelly in his hotel room while they were both naked.
Although it may seem unfair for a victim to wait nearly 20 years to report an incident of sexual misconduct to law enforcement, prosecutors may still file charges if the statute of limitations has not run out. The intent is to provide the victim with some closure. The prosecution will, however, need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the alleged offenses actually took place. In some cases, experts such as psychiatrists or other medical professionals provide testimony regarding how a victim may have suppressed the harm that occurred.
The statute of limitations for most sexual offenses in Minnesota generally expires after three to nine years. For some offenses that involve a minor, however, the statute of limitations may never expire or may pause while the offender is out of the state. Because of the many cases involving decades-old allegations of misconduct, more states have passed laws allowing for civil actions to be filed later.