R. Kelly was charged with 10 counts of legal sexual abuse involving no less than three underage victims in a Chicago court docket Friday following a long time of rumors and allegations that the R&B star was abusing ladies and underage women.
Tandra Simonton, a spokeswoman for the Prepare dinner County State’s Legal professional’s Workplace, introduced in a press convention that prices had been filed towards the 52-year-old Grammy winner. The 52-year-old singer, whose actual identify is Robert Kelly, arrived at a Chicago precinct in a van about eight:15 p.m. Friday. He was arrested and is anticipated to be held in a single day and seem Saturday in bond court docket.
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The primary sufferer, listed as “H.W.,” was allegedly concerned in incidents that occurred between Could 26, 1998 and Could 25, 1999. She was listed as below the age of 17. Kelly was greater than 5 years older. A grand jury returned an indictment on 4 counts of aggravated legal sexual abuse.
The second sufferer, listed as “R.L.,” was allegedly concerned in an incident that occurred between Sept. 26, 1998 and Could Sept. 25, 2001. She was additionally listed as below the age of 17, with Kelly being greater than 5 years older than she was. A grand jury returned an indictment on two counts of aggravated legal sexual abuse.
The third sufferer, listed as “L.C.,” was concerned in an alleged incident that occurred Feb. 18, 2003. Whereas her potential age was not talked about, a grand jury did return an indictment on one rely of aggravated legal sexual abuse primarily based on the transmission of semen by Kelly “upon any a part of the physique of the sufferer for the needs of sexual gratification.”
The fourth sufferer, “J.P.,” was allegedly concerned in incidents that occurred between Could 1, 2009 and Jan. 31, 2010. The grand jury returned an indictment on three counts of aggravated legal sexual abuse. The sufferer was famous as being below the age of 17 and Kelly being greater than 5 years older.
Kelly has denied allegations of sexual misconduct involving ladies and underage women for many years. Neither Kelly’s authorized consultant nor the Prepare dinner County prosecutor’s workplace instantly responded to Fox Information’ request for touch upon the costs.
R. Kelly is without doubt one of the top-selling recording artists of all time. He has gained a number of Grammys, together with for his hit tune “I Consider I Can Fly.” His arrest units the stage for one more #MeToo-era movie star trial after Invoice Cosby went to jail final 12 months.
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Kelly was charged per week after Michael Avenatti, the lawyer whose shoppers have included porn star Stormy Daniels, mentioned he just lately gave Chicago prosecutors new video proof of the singer having intercourse with an underage lady. It was not instantly clear if the costs had been related to that video.
A spokesperson for Kelly’s ex-wife, Andrea “Drea” Kelly, issued a press release to Fox Information on Friday in response to the indictment introduced towards the Chicago singer.
“We weren’t given advance discover on Mr. Kelly’s indictment. We’re discovering out particulars as you all are and we’re nonetheless making an attempt to digest every thing. Please understand that Drea Kelly is affected by the information in a different way than the opposite victims, being the mom of his three kids and his ex-wife. Ms. Kelly’s first precedence is the emotional and psychological effectively being of her kids and her ongoing focus is to nurture them via these troublesome occasions. We ask that you simply afford her and her kids area and privateness as they navigate via the present occasions. We additionally ask that you simply ship her kids and Ms. Kelly optimistic ideas and prayers. We look ahead to your love and assist.”
In 2008, a jury acquitted Kelly of kid pornography prices over a graphic video that prosecutors mentioned confirmed him having intercourse with a woman as younger as 13. He and the younger lady allegedly depicted with him denied they had been within the 27-minute video, though the image high quality was good and witnesses testified it was them, and he or she didn’t take the stand. Kelly may have gotten 15 years in jail.
Avenatti says he has proof R. Kelly and his “enablers” paid witnesses and others to “rig” the result of the R&B star’s trial.
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The information comes simply someday after two extra ladies got here ahead with allegations that Kelly singled them out at a celebration in 1996. They alleged he had his entourage give them alcohol and marijuana earlier than inviting them to his resort room the place he allegedly raped one in all them.
Legally and professionally, the partitions started closing in on Kelly extra just lately after the discharge of a BBC documentary about him final 12 months and, final month, the multipart Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly.” Collectively they detailed allegations he was holding ladies towards their will and operating a “intercourse cult.”
After the most recent documentary, Chicago’s prime prosecutor, Prepare dinner County State’s Legal professional Kim Foxx, mentioned she was “sickened” by the allegations and requested potential victims to return ahead.
#MeToo activists and a social media motion utilizing the hashtag #MuteRKelly referred to as on streaming providers to drop Kelly’s music and promoters to not guide any extra live shows.
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Kelly has been accused of holding ladies and women towards their will in Chicago, the place he has a recording studio, and Georgia, the place he has property.
Kelly’s lawyer, Steve Greenberg, mentioned earlier this 12 months that his consumer was the sufferer of a TV hit piece and that Kelly “by no means knowingly had intercourse with an underage lady, he by no means compelled anybody to do something, he by no means held anybody captive, he by no means abused anybody.”
Regardless of accusations that span a long time, the singer and songwriter who rose from poverty on Chicago’s South Facet has retained a large following. He has written quite a few hits for himself and different artists, together with Celine Dion, Michael Jackson and Girl Gaga. His collaborators have included Jay-Z and Usher.
Kelly broke into the R&B scene in 1993 along with his first solo album, “12 Play,” which produced such well-liked sex-themed songs as “Bump N’ Grind” and “Your Physique’s Callin’.”
Months after these successes, the then-27-year-old Kelly confronted allegations he married 15-year-old Aaliyah, the R&B star who later died in a airplane crash within the Bahamas. Kelly was the lead songwriter and producer of Aaliyah’s 1994 debut album.
Kelly and Aaliyah by no means confirmed the wedding, although Vibe journal revealed a duplicate of the purported marriage license. Courtroom paperwork later obtained by The Chicago Solar-Instances confirmed Aaliyah admitted mendacity about her age on the license.
Jim DeRogatis, a longtime music critic for the Solar-Instances, performed a key function in drawing the eye of legislation enforcement to Kelly. In 2002, he acquired the intercourse tape within the mail that was central to Kelly’s 2008 trial. He turned it over to prosecutors. In 2017, DeRogatis wrote a narrative for BuzzFeed in regards to the allegations Kelly was holding ladies towards their will in Georgia.
The Related Press contributed to this report.