Mexican Pop Singer Cleared of Rape Charges
Judge throws out charges brought by teens working on Kalimba gig, cites lack of insufficient evidence.
MEXICO CITY -- A judge has absolved Mexican pop singer Kalimba of rape charges based on insufficient evidence, putting to rest a controversial case that has been getting top billing on celebrity gossip shows.
Two underage teens working as hostesses at a Kalimba gig Dec. 19 claim they were sexually abused by the pop icon at a hotel room after-party in Chetumal, a port city south of Cancun. Before launching his solo career, Kalimba was a member of the teen pop group OV7, and he has appeared in several films and Mexican TV shows.
In a surprising turn of events, a judge ordered Kalimba's release Thursday, saying the rape allegations lacked adequate proof to proceed with a trial.
State prosecutor Francisco Alor disagreed with the judge's ruling, according to the Mexican daily El Universal. He considered it a "contradiction" that just last week the same judge had ordered an arrest warrant for the artist based on the prosecution's evidence. Alor added that an appeal is unlikely, however, he said the court could have considered a corruption of minors charge.
The 28-year-old singer, whose full name is Kalimba Kadjaly Marichal Ibar, was arrested last week in Texas and promptly deported to Mexico. He was awaiting trail this week while being held in a state prison.
Kalimba has repeatedly denied the charges.
"You should know that I'm not proud of everything I do, that I fail, I fall down, and I sin," he recently tweeted. "But I definitely didn't do what I'm being accused of."
Kalimba broke out in tears Thursday upon hearing the judge's ruling. Rape convictions in Quintana Roo carry a sentence of 25 to 50 years in prison.