R. Kelly charged with criminal sexual abuse; no-bond warrant set by judge
The singer has long faced allegations of sexual abuse by women and girls, but a new videotape has surfaced that was apparently enough evidence to charge him
R. Kelly, the embattled R&B singer who has been dogged by allegations of sexually abusing underaged girls for years has been charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of minors, according to documents provided to TheGrio Friday afternoon.
Nine of the ten counts against Kelly, 52, involve alleged victims who at least age 13 but no older than 17 years old the 36-pages indictment says. In the indictment there are four alleged victims. One is linked to three different counts. The incidents occurred in separate occasions between 1998 and 2010. In the State of Illinois, the statute of limitations on sexual abuse against minors can extend as long as 20 years.
At a brief press conference Friday afternoon, Cook County, Ill., States Attorney Kim Foxx said that Kelly is expected to appear at a bond hearing Saturday afternoon. If convicted he could be facing 3-7 years per count.
He will be taken into custody under a no-bond warrant, according to the Associated Press.
The charges came down Friday morning, about a week after attorney a grand jury convened to investigate the possibility that Kelly had committed the numerous sex crimes that were described in an alleged sex tape provided by attorney Michael Avenatti.
According to reports, as many as a dozen accusers came forward with the accusations against the singer.
Avenatti claimed the new tape has never been previously disclosed or been seen by law enforcement until now. He also maintains that the timeframe of the sexual assault depicted in the video falls within the Illinois statute of limitations. The tape has reportedly been turned over to Foxx in Chicago.
In addition, Avenatti says he has evidence Kelly and his “enablers” paid witnesses and others to “rig” the outcome of the R&B star’s 2008 trial, when he was acquitted on child pornography charges, according to the Associated Press.
Kelly’s attorney, Steven Greenberg, said early Friday afternoon that he had not been notified that his client had been charged.
After 25 years of serial sexual abuse and assault of underage girls, the day of reckoning for R Kelly has arrived.
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) February 22, 2019
Avenatti’s tape allegedly shows Kelly having sex with a 14 year old girl with the two referring to body parts as that age, according to TMZ. The attorney, in a statement said that his office had been retained by several people in connection with the allegations against Kelly. The tape, he said, his office uncovered is a VHS tape of about 45 minutes in length and is not the same footage used in other criminal allegations against him.
Kelly was acquitted in 2008 after similar charges.
The charges come a day after two new women came forward accusing Kelly sexual misconduct. Telling their stories publicly for the first time, Latresa Scaff, 40 and Rochelle Washington, 39 met with law enforcement to tell their stories of alleged sexual abuse from over 20 years ago.
The women say they were 16 and 15 years old (respectively) at the time.
Introduced by their attorney, Gloria Allred, who called Kelly a “sexual predator,” Scaff spoke first, reading from a prepared statement, and told in great detail the story of how she and friend, Washington, met Kelly after a concert in 1995.
In her story, Scaff says that security hand picked them from the crowd at the Baltimore Arena and asked them to come on stage. The two, who are from Baltimore, say they were invited to an after party with Kelly and then to his hotel suite. When they arrived at the hotel, a producer or manager paid for their taxi and they both went to the hotel suite thinking there would be another party.
When in the hotel suite, Scaff says that she and Washington called a local radio station in excitement that they would be meeting Kelly momentarily. Soon after, according to her statement, Staff said someone one Kelly’s staff came in and asked she and Washington to take off their dresses where Kelly entered wearing a white shirt and jeans and having his penis exposed outside of his pants.
She says she was under the influence of marijuana and alcohol at the time. In her statement, Scaff recounts that Kelly wanted the two women to engage in sex with him on the bed, but that Washington refused and retreated into the bathroom. While Washington was out the room, Scaff says she then performed oral sex on Kelly. Scaff said she did not have the capacity to consent when Kelly had sex with her and that he left the room soon after. She says neither she nor Washington have seen or heard from him since.
“I’m coming forward now because I felt this is the right thing to do,” said Scaff. “Im speaking out because I want to encourage other victims who I know must be other there to come forward as well.”