R Kelly charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse
R. Kelly has been charged with ten counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in Cook County, IL, Chicago Sun Times reports. The charges reportedly involve four victims, at least three of them minors between the ages of 13 and 16. Records list Kelly's first court date as March 8, 2019.
Aggravated criminal sexual abuse is classified as a class 2 felony under Illinois laws, and can carry a sentence of three to seven years in prison per count.
Kelly's attorney Steven Greenberg told Chicago Sun Times that he had not heard of the charges as of early Friday afternoon. Kelly and his lawyer have previously denied all allegations against him.
Cook County prosecutors will be signing off on a warrant for Kelly's arrest Friday (2/22) afternoon, sources told Chicago Sun Times. UPDATE: Cook County Judge Dennis Porter reportedly approved a no-bail arrest warrant for Kelly.
Lawyer Michael Avenatti says he submitted a new video showing Kelly having sex with an underage girl to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office last week. "After 25 years of serial sexual abuse and assault of underage girls, the day of reckoning for R Kelly has arrived," Avenatti tweeted today. He says he will discuss "our investigation, new evidence and new developments in the R. Kelly matter at our press conf at 4pm today local time at 800 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL. This will follow the press conf of Kim Foxx."
Veteran reporter Jim DeRogatis, who has covered Kelly for over a decade, reported via The New Yorker on Thursday that Kelly is the subject of criminal investigations in at least three states. In addition to the Illinois indictment, a second grand jury is reportedly being convened in the southern district of New York. A third, in the eastern district of New York, is also reportedly being planned, based on evidence obtained by a squad formed from the sex trafficking investigative division of the Department of Homeland Security.
Two more women came forward to accuse Kelly of sexual misconduct at a NYC press conference on Thursday, as well. Latresa Scaff and Rochelle Washington say they were 16 and 15, respectively, when they attended a Baltimore, MD show of Kelly's in 1995, The Hollywood Reporter reports. The women say they also attended the afterparty, where they were offered marijuana and alcohol, picked from the crowd, and invited to a hotel suite.
From The Hollywood Reporter:
"Mr. Kelly was wearing jeans and a white T-shirt. His penis was out and over the top of his pants," Scaff said of him entering the hotel room. Kelly allegedly asked the girls to have a threesome. Washington refused and left the room. Scaff said Kelly asked her to perform oral sex and she did, and then he proceeded to have sexual intercourse with her.
Cook County, IL prosecutors previously indicted Kelly with 21 counts of child pornography charges in 2002. He was acquitted by a jury in 2008.