Rapper Nelly will not face rape charges, prosecutors have dropped the case

Prosecutors in Washington declined to prosecute the rapper arrested in October.

December 14, 2017, 5:08 PM

— -- Prosecutors in Washington state have dropped the rape case against the rapper known as Nelly, ABC News has confirmed.

The 43-year-old, whose real name is Cornell Iral Haynes Jr., was arrested in October for allegedly raping a woman in his tour bus during a stop in Auburn, Washington, according to the Auburn Police Department.

The rapper has maintained his innocence. Calling Nelly a "victim of deceitful allegation," his lawyer Scott Rosenblum said in a statement to ABC News that the artist is "planning to proceed with litigation as the first step in restoring his reputation."

Earlier today, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office said in a statement that it was no longer pursuing the case after the alleged victim told investigators she would not assist in the investigation or testify in court.

"Police responded to and investigated a sexual assault allegation involving Mr. Haynes. However, within days of her initial report to police, the complainant, through her attorney, informed investigators from the Auburn police department that she did not wish to assist in prosecution or the investigation of Mr. Haynes," a statement from the Attorney's Office read.

"While we have reviewed the existing investigative material, without the assistance of the complainant, this office is unable to proceed or fully assess the merits of the case," the statement concluded.

The unidentified woman first called 911 at 3:48 a.m. PT on Oct. 7 to report that she was allegedly sexually assaulted by the "Hot in Herre" rapper on his tour bus, which was parked outside of a Walmart in Auburn, Washington, according to the Auburn Police Department.

Nelly had performed at the nearby White River Amphitheater just hours before, police said.

The Grammy winner was released from jail without being charged. Later, he tweeted, "I am completely innocent. I am confident that once the facts are looked at, it will be very clear that I am the victim of a false allegation."

The full statement from his lawyer, sent Friday, is below:

"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. Credible evidence did show this accuser to be deceptive. We have been in constant communication with the King County authorities and welcomed and appreciated the diligence in which the authorities proceeded. Leaving no stone unturned.

"Nelly recognizes the need for women who are victims of sexual assault of any kind to be heard and our existing systems changed. Nelly supports various women’s advocacy groups that deal with Sexual Assault, and violence against women and is dedicated to raising awareness and furthering the conversation to about bring about necessary changes. 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."

ABC News' Sabina Ghebremedhin contributed to this report