Kim Foxx, Chicago’s top prosecutor, has received 12 responses since she openly called for women who have sexual-misconduct claims against R. Kelly to come forward with their stories. The singer has been under renewed criticism since the Lifetime docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly” aired early this month.
The New York Times reports that Foxx herself is a victim of sexual assault, having been abused by her cousin and raped by two boys on her way home from school when she was in the second grade. Now, she’s built a career around prosecuting sex crimes against minors.
A Chicago native, Foxx grew up in the midst of Kelly’s heyday. Though R. Kelly’s defendant Steve Greenberg told the Chicago Sun Times that he felt the “lead prosecutor should be silent until there’s evidence,” Foxx remembers when Kelly was tried in 2008 for child pornography — she was not directly involved in the case, but was working close by in the same office prosecuting other sex crimes.
“Surviving R. Kelly,” which Foxx said “sickened” her, also spurred her into action.
“This is about, for me, opening the doors,” Foxx told the Times of her decision to call victims forward. “We should allow people to have the opportunity to tell their stories and then vet them.”
As a result, 12 people have come forward with stories against the singer, two of whom claim they lost contact with relatives who were previously involved with Kelly.
In her statements to the Times, Foxx emphasized the need to listen to young victims. “I hope that the public has seen that there is a real need to have conversations about sexual abuse and sexual assault,” she said.
Her office is currently vetting the claims and will soon make a decision on how to move forward with legal action.