R. Kelly was acquitted over a sex tape that allegedly involved an underage girl—but he was never actually tried for rape, a crime he committed "in the dozen," says reporter Jim DeRogatis, who has been at the forefront of the story since it emerged. In the Village Voice, he discusses the many lawsuits filed against Kelly and the women and girls who told DeRogatis their stories without going to the courts. In the music world, there's a lot of sexual "misbehaving." But "rare is the amount of evidence compiled against anyone apart from R. Kelly."
"Dozens of girls—not one, not two, dozens—with harrowing lawsuits," DeRogatis notes. "Not just one videotape, numerous videotapes." Many cases were settled out of court because the victims felt they could get no other justice. "The saddest fact I've learned is: Nobody matters less to our society than young black women. Nobody," DeRogatis tells Jessica Hopper. Kelly would pick up sophomore girls in a Chicago gospel class and "have sex with them," DeRogatis says. He also addresses the question of Kelly's music, fearing that some listeners are getting "vicarious thrill to seeing this guy play this character in these songs and knowing that it's not just a character." Click for years of reporting on Kelly by DeRogatis and colleagues, via the Voice.