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Prosecutors Drop Rape Case Against Nelly

Washington state prosecutors say they cannot proceed with a second-degree rape case against rapper Nelly because his accuser has refused to cooperate, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The 21-year-old accuser said the rapper raped her on his tour bus outside Seattle on October 7. Nelly (real name: Cornell Iral Haynes Jr.) was booked on suspicion of second-degree rape and released. A statement to Variety from Nelly’s attorney Scott Rosenblum reads in part:

“The formal close of the investigation into the false allegations made against Nelly is of course welcome – however expected. We were confident, that what our investigation revealed from the outset of this allegation would ultimately be clear and Nelly would be vindicated. A thorough investigation did show Nelly was a victim of deceitful allegation devoid of credibility. We have been in constant communication with the King County authorities and welcomed and appreciated the diligence in which the authorities proceeded.

“Nelly recognizes  the need for women who are victims of sexual assault of any kind to be heard and our existing systems changed. However , this type of reckless false allegation cannot be tolerated as it is an affront to the real survivors of sexual assault. Nelly has suffered very real damage to his reputation. He has incurred economic loss and painfully has watched his family suffer. As a result Nelly is planning to proceed with litigation as the first step in restoring his reputation.”

After his arrest Nelly sent out a series of tweets protesting his innocence and was released without charges a few hours after being booked. On Thursday, prosecutors said in a statement that they cannot “proceed or fully assess the merits of the case” without the accuser’s cooperation.

In an article published by TMZ on October 13, the accuser’s lawyer Karen Koehler said that her client wished to drop the case and would not testify further against Nelly claiming that the pressures of facing a legal battle against a celebrity were too much and that she was afraid “the system is going to fail her.”

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