R Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse Photo: File photo

February 22, 2019 03:48 PM

Chicago prosecutors have charged R&B star R. Kelly with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse, according to media reports citing court records.

Friday's charges come after years of allegations directed at Kelly, accusing the now 52-year-old of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls. Through his lawyers, he has consistently denied them.

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Kelly, whose legal name is Robert Kelly, is one of the top-selling recording artists of all time. He has won multiple Grammys, including for his hit-song, "I Believe I Can Fly."

Jurors acquitted Kelly of child pornography charges at a 2008 trial. Those charges stemmed from a video prosecutors alleged showed Kelly having sex with a girl as young as 13.

Attorney Michael Avenatti said last week that he recently gave Chicago prosecutors new video evidence of Kelly having sex with an underage girl.

Judge Dennis Porter also authorized a no-bail arrest warrant for Kelly. No-bail arrest warrants don't necessarily mean the defendant won't eventually be offered bail once appearing in court to answer the charges.

The charges filed Friday list four victims, including at least three between the ages of 13 and 17. The victims are listed only by initials in the document. They date back to at least 1998.

Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx said the sentencing range for aggravated sexual assault is up to seven years in prison.

If he is convicted on all 10 counts, a judge could decide that the sentences run one after the other - making it possible that he receives a sentence of up to 70 years behind bars.

Probation is also an option under statute.

Kelly has been dogged for years by allegations that he sexually abused women and underage girls. He and his attorneys have repeatedly denied allegations of sexual misconduct.

Here is a look at some of the different accusations that have been made against him:

CHICAGO, AUGUST 1994:

Kelly, then 27, wed Aaliyah Dana Haughton, then 15, at a suburban Chicago hotel. The singer had been his protege, and he wrote and produced her 1994 debut album, "Age Ain't Nothing But A Number." The marriage was later annulled, and the two refused to confirm it happened. In 2001, Aaliyah died in a light aircraft crash in the Abaco Islands, Bahamas.

CHICAGO, DECEMBER 1996:

A Chicago woman, Tiffany Hawkins, sued Kelly and his recording and management companies alleging she suffered personal injuries and emotional harm because she had sex with the singer in 1991, when she was 15. The relationship ended in 1994 when she turned 18. The woman said she met Kelly while a freshman at Kenwood Academy, a high school Kelly attended but didn't graduate from. She was seeking $10 million in damages, but the Chicago Sun-Times reported in December 2000 that she settled for $250,000. Over the next two years, Kelly settled three more cases out of court but denied wrongdoing.

CHICAGO, JUNE 2002:

Kelly was indicted on 21 counts of child pornography. The 33-year-old singer was accused based on a videotape allegedly showing him having sex with an underage girl. The Sun-Times reported the then-14-year-old girl was the daughter of an associate of the singer. Kelly was acquitted on all counts in June 2008.

GEORGIA, JULY 2017:

BuzzFeed reported the singer lured women into "cult-like" relationships. The internet media outlet reported that Kelly was keeping women aged 18 to 31 in properties in Chicago and Georgia, where he abused and secluded them from their families. No charges resulted because the women were of legal age. When contacted by police, one of the women told authorities she was "fine" and didn't want to be bothered. At the same time, Jerhonda Pace said she became sexually involved with Kelly when she was a 16-year-old fan.

NEW YORK, MAY 2018:

Faith Rodgers filed a lawsuit in New York alleging Kelly sexually abused and demeaned her, locked her in rooms and vehicles for punishment and infected her with herpes. Rodgers said in the lawsuit that the abuse took place during a roughly yearlong relationship. Rodgers made the same allegations in a police report filed in April 2018 in Dallas that Kelly's management team denied. Rodgers, then 20, said in a television interview that Kelly, 51, instructed her to call him "daddy" and told her his goal was to teach her how to have sex like a "mature woman."

NEW YORK, JUNE 2018:

Andrea Kelly, R. Kelly's ex-wife and mother of his three children, revealed in a television interview the singer abused her throughout their 13-year marriage and despair led her consider suicide. During a later interview, she said their arguments often ended in violence, including an altercation in which she said he pulled her left arm behind her back and pushed his forearm against her neck. "I think the reason why I think I made it out is because I said, 'Robert, you're going to kill me. I can't breathe,'" she recalled in an October 2018 interview on ABC's "The View." Andrea Kelly, who was married to the singer from 1996 to 2009, said she was speaking out to save lives and bring validity to other women's stories of alleged abuse at the hands of the entertainer.

CHICAGO, JANUARY 2019:

Lifetime network begins airing the docuseries "Surviving R. Kelly." The series looked at the singer's history, and allegations that he has sexually abused women and teenage girls. The series presented first-hand accounts of years of alleged abuse against young girls and women by Kelly. Several subjects noted the singer and his entourage purposefully targeted Kenwood Academy girls at a nearby McDonald's. He has denied doing anything wrong, however there has been fallout, with reports his record label dropped him. The #MeToo and #MuteRKelly movements have demanded his music be dropped from streaming services and radio play.

CHICAGO, FEBRUARY 2019:

Kelly is charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse involving four victims , including at least three between the ages of 13 and 17. Some of the alleged abuse went back at least as far as 1998, according to charging documents. An indictment unsealed Friday specifically referenced abuse that took place around Feb. 18, 2003.

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(Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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