R. Kelly Faces Serious Prison Time if Convicted

Singer accused of 10 counts of sexual abuse, and 3 alleged victims were minors
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2019 12:55 PM CST
Updated Feb 22, 2019 3:23 PM CST
R. Kelly Charged With Sexual Abuse
A file photo of R. Kelly from 2013.   (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP, File)

Years of accusations appear to have caught up with R. Kelly. Prosecutors in Illinois' Cook County charged the R&B star Friday with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. Here is what we know:

  • 3 minors: The counts involve four victims, three of whom were between the ages of 13 and 16, say prosecutors. The alleged abuse in the counts took place from 1998 to 2010.
  • Jail time: If convicted, Kelly faces serious jail time, notes the AP. Each count could mean up to 7 years in prison. In the worst-case scenario for Kelly, a judge could string them together for a 70-year sentence. On the other hand, he could receive probation if convicted.
  • Due in court: An arrest warrant has been issued, and Kelly is expected to appear in court Saturday for a bond hearing, reports NBC Chicago. His attorney, Steve Greenberg, has consistently denied allegations of underage sex.

  • More investigations: "This is just the beginning of the charges," said Atlanta lawyer Gerald Griggs, who represents the parents of a woman they say is being held against her will by Kelly as part of a "sex cult." Griggs said the singer also is under investigation in Fulton County, Ga., and by the US Attorney's office in the Eastern District of New York, reports USA Today.
  • Avenatti: The move comes after a grand jury had been convened to examine allegations and after high-profile attorney Michael Avenatti turned over a videotape to authorities that he says shows Kelly having sex with an underage girl. “After 25 years of serial sexual abuse and assault of underage girls, the day of reckoning for R. Kelly has arrived,” Avenatti tweeted. “It’s over.”
  • Earlier trial: As the Chicago Tribune notes, this isn't the first time the 52-year-old (real name Robert Kelly) has been charged with a sex crime. He was acquitted in a sensational 2008 trial, during which he was accused of filming himself having sex with a girl believed to be 13.
  • No end: Two new alleged victims came forward just this week. In 2017, BuzzFeed published a report accusing R. Kelly of keeping young women in what some called a "cult." The recent documentary Surviving R. Kelly added to the scrutiny, prompting Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx to urge other possible victims to come forward.
(More R. Kelly stories.)

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