R Kelly Charged With 10 Counts Of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse
R Kelly has been charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in Cook County, Illinois.
The singer is due in court in March 8.
Criminal sexual abuse is a class 2 felony in Illinois, and each charge has a maximum sentence of three to seven years in prison, according to TMZ.
There are reportedly a total of four alleged victims, whose ages range from 13 to 16 years old. One victim is apparently the subject of four different counts. The alleged crimes are said to take place between 1998 and 2010.
It was recently alleged that R Kelly made a sex tape with a 14-year-old girl, which was pivotal in bringing the charges forward against the singer.
Attorney and advocate Michael Avenatti handed the tape to authorities after an investigation into the singer and the allegations of sexual misconduct made against him. As many as a dozen women as said to have come forward to testify against R Kelly.
Following the announcement of the charges against Kelly, Avenatti tweeted:
After 25 years of serial sexual abuse and assault of underage girls, the day of reckoning for R Kelly has arrived.
Avenatti has alleged the explicit VHS tape, which is 42 minutes and 45 seconds in length, shows Kelly committing multiple acts of sexual assault against an underage girl.
A Cook County judge has approved a no-bail arrest warrant for the 52-year-old singer who, in the past, has denied any wrongdoing, Chicago Sun Times reports.
In an interview with AP News, Kelly’s lawyer Steve Greenberg said last month:
The allegations aren’t true because he never knowingly had sex with an underage woman, he never forced anyone to do anything, he never held anyone captive, he never abused anyone.
Greenberg stated early Friday afternoon he had not been notified that his client had been charged.
Following his investigation, and handing over the VHS tape to authorities, Avenatti shared a statement saying:
As part of our effort to ensure that Mr. Kelly is finally held accountable for his repeated sexual assaults of minors spanning over two decades, we have provided extensive information, including the videotape described above and witnesses, to Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx in Chicago.
Mr. Kelly is a predator and a criminal who has prayed on young, vulnerable girls for too long.
The time has come for him to finally be held accountable for his actions.
Earlier this year, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx made a public plea for other alleged victims of R Kelly to come forward, so her office could investigate further. The plea was made in light of the Surviving R. Kelly documentary, which Foxx said ‘sickened’ her. At least two more women came forward after Foxx made the appeal.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 (12-2:30 and 7-9:30). Alternatively you can contact Victim Support on 08 08 16 89 111.