Jun 16 2008

R. Kelly: Idealization of older men makes younger girls vulnerable to sexual abuse and exploitation

R. kelly was acquitted of all charges that he sexually abused a minor girl and videotaped that abuse. Why? The jurors are reporting that the failure of the prosecutors to bring the girl in question, now 23 years old, to testify was a key factor.

The prosecutors told the jurors and reporters that they did not have the now adult female testify so as to not reopen old wounds.

It is probably more complicated than this.

From the evidence presented, it seems like the woman and part of her family did not want R. Kelly charged with a crime from the very beginning.

The case started with the videotape of the alleged sexual abuse being given to a Sun Times reporter who then gave it to the authorities.

So, this woman and her family did not press charges. Charges were brought by the authorities as a matter of law and ethics, “the right thing to do.”

Richard Devine, the Cook County States Attorney said, “We weren’t going to open new wounds.” He added, “Child pornography can be extremely difficult to prove — especially because the victims may not consider themselves to be victims. But we, as a community, have to stand up for them even if they fail to come forward and state what the evidence makes clear.”

Like in many similar cases, the younger women may not feel they are victims. This particular woman was portrayed as someone who really idealized R. Kelly. She referred to him as her godfather. Was he? I was not clear about that fact.

Certainly, he had all he needed to build the type of relationship that could lead to exploitation and abuse.

Do younger girls idealize older men? Yes.

Does this idealization make them vulnerable to abuse and exploitation? Yes.

Does the sexualization of women in our culture make women vulnerable to abuse? Yes.

We can go on and on about this.

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