Facing Charges of Sex Abuse Against Minors, R. Kelly Surrenders to Police

Published February 23, 2019


R. Kelly
R & B superstar R . Kelly turned himself into Chicago police on Friday, after prosecutors charged him with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sex abuse against four victims, three of them minors .
The bombshell development in the Kelly saga came after a judge approved a no – bail arrest warrant for the 52 – year – old, who for decades has faced accusations of child pornography, sex with minors , operating a sex cult and sexual battery .
Kelly surrendered to Chicago police at approximately 8 : 15 p .m . ( 0215 GMT) and was taken into custody.
He will appear in court tomorrow afternoon , a police spokesman said .
Kim Foxx — the state’ s attorney for Cook County , which includes Chicago — told journalists the alleged crimes occurred between 1998 and 2010 . A court clerk had earlier told AFP nine of the charges involve minors ages 13 to 16 .
The felony charges carry three to seven years of prison time per count , Foxx said .
After Kelly was booked his lawyer Steve Greenberg dismissed the charges, saying they were based on old and false accusations.
Greenberg vowed the musician would be “ vindicated,” saying , “ I think all of the women are lying .”
“ Everybody’s trying to profit off of R . Kelly .”
An arraignment was scheduled for March 8 in Chicago , where he resides , a Cook County clerk said earlier .
It is the second time Chicago 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 .
Greenberg said one of the charges involved the same victim as in that trial .
– ‘ Day of reckoning’ –
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 checkered past .
“ Today marks a watershed moment in the 25 years of abuse by this predator ,” said high -profile lawyer Michael Avenatti , who is representing two victims, two parents and two whistle- blowers linked to Kelly .
Avenatti and prominent women ’s rights attorney Gloria Allred are representing clients linked to Kelly , with the former saying his office had uncovered previously unreleased footage of Kelly having sex with a teenager , which he had given to the Cook County State ’s Attorney.
Avenatti — who also represents a porn star locked in a legal battle with President Donald Trump — told journalists Friday the approximately 40 – minute tape shot in the late 1990 s “ leaves no question ” of Kelly ’ s guilt, and that both the victim and the musician refer multiple times to her age as 14 .
He described in graphic detail a number of sex acts shown on the tape , saying the girl refers repeatedly to Kelly as “ daddy.”
Avenatti said his team had recovered an additional such tape and is in the process of obtaining a third .
The attorney vowed to go after Kelly ’ s “ enablers ,” who he said “ turned a blind eye while teenage girls were sexually assaulted for over two decades . ”
“ They did not want to kill the golden goose , ” the lawyer said .
– ‘ Never walk free’ –
Kelly infamously is known for marrying his protegee Aaliyah in 1994 , when the late R & B star was 15 .
Kelly , then 27 , had produced the teenage singer ’ s debut album titled “ Age Ain’ t Nothing But a Number .” Their marriage was later annulled, and Aaliyah died in a plane crash in 2001 .
Despite the slew of unsettling claims against him , the decorated musician for years has continued to perform and maintain a solid fan base.
But last month ’s release of an explosive docu- series entitled “ Surviving R . Kelly ” once again brought accusations against him to the fore , while a # MuteRKelly movement aimed at preventing his music from airing has gained steam.
“ Black women and girls who come forward with allegations of sexual violence are too often silenced or shamed ,” said the American Civil Liberties Union on Friday , responding to the new charges.
“ It ’s well past time for them to be heard.”
The latest development came one day after two other women had come forward against Kelly , saying he invited them to a show ’ s after- party in Baltimore in the 1990 s — when they were teenagers — giving them alcohol and drugs before cornering them in his hotel room and demanding sex , with one of them complying.
The women were to speak with the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York , their lawyer Allred said .
A division of the US Department of Homeland Security devoted to probing sex trafficking meanwhile has a team of dozens looking into alleged crimes against Kelly , according to The New Yorker magazine.
“ He should never walk free another day in his life, ” Avenatti said Friday. “ He will rightfully die in a prison.”
( AFP )

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