R Kelly Charged With Aggravated Sexual Abuse
Singer R Kelly was indicted Friday in Illinois on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
Three of the four females were between the ages of 13 and 16 at the time of the alleged incidents, which are said to have taken place between 1998 and 2010. The age of consent in Illinois is 17.
At a press conference Friday afternoon, Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx identified the alleged victims by initials only: Four counts relate to "HW" between May 26, 1998 and May 25, 1999; two counts relate to "RL" between Sept. 26, 1998 and Sept. 25, 2001; and three counts relate to "JP" between May 1, 2009 and Jan. 31, 2010.
Another count relates to an alleged incident on Feb. 18, 2003 against "LC" involving "the transmission of semen for the purpose of sexual gratification."
Foxx said she expects Kelly to appear at a bond hearing on Saturday afternoon.
Each felony charge carries a penalty of three to seven years in prison, she said.
Michael Avenatti, who turned over to investigators a video that allegedly shows Kelly having sex with a 14-year-old girl, tweeted: “It's over ... the day of reckoning for R Kelly has arrived."
Kelly was accused of sexual misconduct by several women in the Lifetime docu-series Surviving R. Kelly. The singer was reportedly dropped by his record label and artists like Lady Gaga and Céline Dion have removed their duets with Kelly from streaming services.
The singer's estranged daughter Buku Abi took to social media last month to address the allegations against him. "The same monster you all confronting me about is my father. I am well aware of who and what he is. I grew up in that house.”
The singer, whose full name is Robert Kelly, has previously denied any criminal behaviour.
In 2008, Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges after a videotape surfaced allegedly showing him engaged in sex with, and urinating on, a 14-year-old girl. In 1994, Kelly reportedly married singer Aaliyah, who was 15 at the time. A court later annulled the marriage, which Kelly denied ever took place.