Singer R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sex abuse

Grammy-winning singer R. Kelly, who has faced years of sexual abuse allegations, was ordered held on a US$1 million bond on Saturday on charges that he sexually assaulted three teenagers and a woman, as prosecutors offered new details in the case.
Nine of the new criminal sex abuse charges against singer R. Kelly concern minors aged 13 to 16, said a court official.
Nine of the new criminal sex abuse charges against singer R. Kelly concern minors aged 13 to 16, said a court official.

CHICAGO • R&B superstar R. Kelly has been charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sex abuse, some involving minors.

The bombshell indictments in Chicago last Friday marked a major shift in the Kelly saga, which has seen the 52-year-old for decades accused of child pornography, sex with minors, sexual battery and operating a sex cult.

Nine of the new charges concern minors aged 13 to 16, a Cook County court official told Agence France-Presse, without specifying the number of victims involved.

The artist - whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly - was taken into custody last Friday night after arriving at a Chicago police station in a van with heavily tinted rear windows, said the Associated Press.

The musician has a court date scheduled for March 8 in Chicago, where he resides, the official said.

Kelly, known for hits like I Believe I Can Fly, has faced renewed public scrutiny after a scathing docu-series shed new light on his past.

High-profile lawyers Gloria Allred and Michael Avenatti are representing clients linked to Kelly, with the latter saying his office had uncovered previously unreleased footage of a man believed to be Kelly having sex with a young girl, which the lawyer gave to the Cook County State Attorney.

https://twitter.com/MichaelAvenatti/status/1099015088076439552

Mr Avenatti tweeted about Friday's developments: "After 25 years of serial sexual abuse and assault of underage girls, the day of reckoning for R. Kelly has arrived."

 
 

CNN, which obtained a copy of the tape announced by Mr Avenatti, described it as "clear and explicit".

The network said two scenes show a naked man who appears to be Kelly engaging in several sex acts with a female.

It is the second time Cook County prosecutors have charged Kelly with a sex crime: after a dramatic trial that also involved a sex tape, the musician was acquitted of 21 counts of child pornography in 2008.

AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE, BLOOMBERG

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 24, 2019, with the headline 'Singer R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sex abuse'. Print Edition | Subscribe