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Victim’s family upset after sexual battery charge dropped

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A victim's family said they feel blindsided after a sexual battery charge against a Memphis man was dropped without their knowledge.

Michael Hall said after breaking up with her boyfriend of more than a decade, she found out the unimaginable.

“I was devastated," Hall said. "I didn’t know what to think.”

She said her teenage cousin told Hall that Hall's ex-boyfriend, 35-year-old Jim Kelly, had inappropriately touched her multiple times while he and Hall were dating. One time, it was in a pool.

“It was an emotional thing," Hall said. "She did not, you know, she didn’t want to come to me because she didn’t want to interfere.”

Hall was relieved her cousin came to her.

“I told her that if anything like that happens, I don’t care who I’m with or what kind of situation that it’s in, I would’ve got her and my sister, and we would’ve left that house that same day," Hall said.

She said she heard more disturbing stories and says she already knew Kelly was a registered sex offender, but didn't know the full extent of it.

“All of it together was devastating," she said.

Kelly was put on the registry 10 years ago for having sexual intercourse with his teenage cousin. He’s missed several report dates and has a lengthy criminal record showing abuse toward Hall and others.

“I’m still in emotional distress from him," Hall said.

Their family called police about the pool incident, and Kelly was arrested for sexual battery.

Hall said none of them, including her cousin, heard anything from the district attorney’s office after his arrest. Then suddenly, the case was dismissed.

“When I told her it was dropped, she started crying," Hall said. "It’s a hurtful situation. She doesn’t want to see it happen to another child.”

The DA’s office told WREG a judge dismissed the case for lack of prosecution because they couldn’t reach the victim. Hall and the victim said that’s not true.

After WREG reached out, the DA’s office said they would get in touch with her and review the case for possible further action.

So it’s not necessarily over.

“They need to think twice," Hall said. "This is a monster.”

Hall is hoping they can find justice.

WREG went to Jim Kelly’s listed address but no one came to the door. If new details emerge, we'll keep you updated.

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