R. Kelly to appear in court hours after his arrest on sexual abuse charges
Singer R. Kelly is scheduled to appear in court Saturday for a bail hearing after his arrest on charges of sexual abuse spanning from 1998 to 2010.
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx announced Friday that the R&B musician, whose full name is Robert Kelly, was indicted on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse — a class two felony — involving four alleged victims.
The indictment accuses Kelly of sexual acts with three children older than 13 but younger than 17. There is no age range listed for one of the alleged victims. The charges say Kelly used force or the threat of force.
His attorney described his client as an innocent man, saying Foxx succumbed to public pressure.
“I think all the women are lying,” attorney Steve Greenberg said. “Mr. Kelly is strong, he’s got a lot of support and he’s going to be vindicated on all these charges — one by one if it has to be.”
Kelly turned himself in Friday night, just hours after Chicago police issued a warrant for his arrest. He arrived in a large, black van wearing a hoodie under an electric blue puffer jacket. He waded through a sea of reporters asking questions like “What do you have to say to the fans?” and “What do you have to say to the black women of Chicago?”
Kelly did not respond. Once he entered the building, he was handcuffed and led away by police. His arraignment is set for March 8.
New evidence involves a tape and an underage girl
Homeland Security Investigations is involved in an investigation of Kelly, a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement official said. The official did not provide any details.
A grand jury was convened in Cook County this month in connection with new allegations against Kelly, two sources close to the case told CNN.
Greenberg told CNN this month that he had not been notified of a grand jury. Days before, attorney Michael Avenatti announced he had given the State’s Attorney’s Office a videotape that he said showed Kelly having sex with an underage girl.
“This tape leaves no question as to whether R. Kelly is guilty of multiple sexual, illegal acts against a 14-year-old girl,” he told reporters Friday. He said Foxx’s investigation was “very thorough … dedicated and methodical.”
CNN has seen the VHS tape, which is 42 minutes and 45 seconds, clear and explicit. It appears to show Kelly having sex with a girl who refers to her body parts as 14 years old.
In a news conference Friday, his attorney told reporters he did not know what was on the tape.
Attorney cites double jeopardy in old allegation
Greenberg brought a point of contention to one of the cases in the indictment.
“One of the charges appears to involve the same alleged victim from the earlier case and double jeopardy should bar that case,” he said.
Kelly has been associated with accusations of abuse, manipulation and inappropriate encounters with girls and young women for more than two decades. He has strongly denied the accusations.
What is on the latest video mirrors some of the alleged acts for which Kelly was arrested in a child pornography case in 2002 when he was 35 and then acquitted six years later.
He has been sued by multiple women accusing him of having sex with them when they were underage. Most cases, with the exception of the trial where he was acquitted, have been settled out of court.
And while he is one of the most successful R&B acts in history, there has been a growing movement against him, including the #MuteRKelly campaign to stop his music being played.
In January, the release of a docuseries called “Surviving R. Kelly” on Lifetime television helped boost the public campaign against him.
In that series, women said they were kept in abusive sexual relationships.