American Singer R Kelly Charged For Sexually Abusing Minors

 
American Singer R Kelly Charged For Sexually Abusing Minors

R&B singer R. Kelly has been charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, according to an indictment filed Friday in Cook County, Illinois. The charging documents state that the crimes took place between 1998 and 2010 and involved four victims, three of whom were between 13 and 16 years old.

Each count carries a sentence of three to seven years.

A Chicago judge issued a no-bail arrest warrant for the singer, according to The Associated Press. Kelly is expected to appear in bond court Saturday afternoon, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx said at a news conference Friday. She offered no further comment on her office's investigation.

Kelly has come under intense scrutiny since Lifetime aired a widely watched docuseries last month, called "Surviving R. Kelly," that took a sweeping look at years of sexual misconduct allegations against the singer. Following the television program, the Illinois prosecutor made a public plea requesting that potential witnesses or victims related to claims against Kelly come forward.

"There is nothing to be done to investigate these allegations without the cooperation of both victims and witnesses," Foxx said at a news conference in January. "We cannot seek justice without you."

Kelly, who has long denied wrongdoing, was tried in 2008 on several counts of child pornography and was acquitted.

A lawyer for Kelly did not immediately respond to The Washington Post's inquiries.

Last week, lawyer Michael Avenatti said he had turned over to Foxx's office a VHS tape that allegedly shows Kelly engaging in sexual activity with a minor. The depicted acts were within Illinois' statute of limitations, according to Avenatti, who tweeted Friday that "the day of reckoning for R Kelly has arrived." Avenatti announced he would hold a news conference in Chicago at 5 p.m. Eastern time.

On Thursday, during a news conference with their lawyer, Gloria Allred, two women accused Kelly of sexual misconduct. Allred, a prominent women's rights attorney, told The Post last week that she had contacted law enforcement about the tape because she believed the alleged victim may be one of her clients. She is representing several women who allege sexual abuse by Kelly.

Allred wrote in a statement Friday that "the wheels of justice are turning."

"The days of running and hiding his victimization of women from the criminal justice system have now come to an end for R. Kelly," she said in the statement.

Last year, The Washington Post's Geoff Edgers reported that decades of overlooking the singer's alleged behavior "played out on many levels, from the billionaire record executive who first signed the dynamic young vocalist in the early 1990s to the low-paid assistants who arranged flights, food and bathroom breaks for his traveling entourage of young women."

Kelly illegally married his 15-year-old protege Aaliyah in 1994, when he was 27. Edgers wrote that their marriage, which was annulled the following year, became part of a "culture of open secrets and official avoidance" around the singer and his alleged actions.

Kelly and his label, Sony subsidiary RCA Records, parted ways last month. Musicians who collaborated with him in the past, including Lady Gaga and Chance the Rapper, have apologized for working with him.

"I am cautiously optimistic that these latest charges against R. Kelly will finally lead to justice for his many victims," Oronike Odeleye, who co-founded #MuteRKelly, a movement urging radio stations and concert venues to stop promoting Kelly's music, said in a statement. "We are hopeful that this go-round, the charges will end in successful prosecution and his victims can truly heal from the pain and trauma that he inflicted."