Federal charges ramp up pressure on R. Kelly to make deal

National News
R Kelly

FILE – In this Thursday, June 6, 2019, file photo, musician R. Kelly leaves the Leighton Criminal Court building, in Chicago. Kelly is due in a New York City court, Friday, Aug. 2, 2019, for an arraignment on charges he sexually abused women and girls. (AP Photo/Amr Alfiky, File)

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CHICAGO (AP) — Legal experts say federal sex charges recently brought against R. Kelly in Chicago and New York greatly increase the pressure on the 52-year-old singer to seek a plea deal.

Adding those 18 charges to the 21 Illinois charges he already faced and two new charges in Minnesota mean Kelly is looking at a combined maximum prison sentence of over 500 years.

Phil Turner, a former assistant U.S. attorney in Chicago, says federal prosecutors have more resources at their disposal and tend to bring strong cases.

Court records show that federal prosecutors secure convictions more than 90% of the time, compared to about 65% of the time for their state counterparts.

If Kelly goes to trial and loses badly, he could face what would effectively be a life sentence.

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