R. Kelly in custody, Scheduled to appear in bond court Saturday.
R. Kelly surrendered to Chicago police Friday night after being ushered away from his West Side recording studio in a black van.
Kelly was indicted on charges of criminal sexual abuse in Illinois’ Cook County, court records showed Friday, following decades of allegations the singer sexually abused underage girls.
The 52-year-old R&B star faces 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, with indictments indicating up to four victims. Three of those victims were under the age of 17, prosecutors said.
Outside of the police station, Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, vehemently denied the accusations against his client.
Asked if he thought the alleged victims were lying, Greenberg said “yes.”
“I think all the women are lying, yes,” he said.
He accused the alleged victims of profiting off of Kelly by selling books and going on tour to support the documentary “Surviving R. Kelly.”
“Mr. Kelly is strong, he’s got a lot of support, and he’s going to be vindicated on all these charges, one by one if it has to be,” he said.
Kelly is scheduled to appear in bond court Saturday, with the case scheduled for March 8. An arrest warrant had been issued, records show.
Kelly has denied allegations of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years.
One of the indictments, involving a victim identified only as “L.C.,” alleges Kelly knowingly “transmitted his semen onto L.C.’s body, for the purpose of Robert Kelly’s or L.C.’s sexual gratification or arousal, by the use of force or threat of force.” The incident, which prosecutors said took place on Feb. 18, 2003, resulted in one of the 10 counts against Kelly, according to prosecutors.
An indictment referencing a separate alleged victim, “J.P.,” accused Kelly of sexual penetration when the victim was “at least 13 years of age but under 17 years of age, and Robert Kelly was at least five years older than J.P.” Kelly is also accused of transmitting semen “onto J.P.’s body, for the purpose of Robert Kelly’s or J.P.’s sexual gratification or arousal.” The incidents took place betwen May 1, 2009 and Jan. 31, 2010 and resulted in three of the 10 counts against Kelly, prosecutors said.
Indictments referencing alleged victims H.W. and R.L. accuse Kelly of both sexual penetration and engaging in oral sex when the victims were “at least 13 years of age but under 17 years of age, and Robert Kelly was at least five years older than” them.
The incidents against H.W. took place between May 26, 1998 and May 25, 1999 and resulted in four of the 10 counts against Kelly. Incidents involving R.L. took place between Sept. 26, 1998 and Sept. 25, 2001 resulted in two of the counts, prosecutors said.
The indictments note the statute of limitations for the cases is extended because either the victims were under 18 during the alleged offense or because it was reported to law enforcement within two years of the alleged offense.
In Illinois, aggravated criminal sexual abuse is a class 2 felony. It can carry a sentence of between 3 and 7 years in prison. A person convicted of this offense has to register as a sex offender.
The news comes just hours before attorney Michael Avenatti scheduled a 4 p.m. press conference in Chicago to discuss “details of the investigation.”
“After 25 years of serial sexual abuse and assault of underage girls, the day of reckoning for R Kelly has arrived,” Avenatti tweeted.
Avenatti, who previously reported he gave video evidence to Cook County prosecutors, said he planned to discuss a “major development in the case” and told The Associated Press he has evidence R. Kelly and his “enablers” paid witnesses and others to “rig” the outcome of the R&B star’s 2008 trial, when he was acquitted on child pornography charges.
Avenatti said last week that his office has been “quietly” investigating allegations made against embattled singer R. Kelly and confirmed his office gave a VHS videotape to Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx that allegedly features Kelly. The roughly 45-minutes of footage purportedly shows Kelly “engaging in multiple sexual assaults of a girl underage,” Avenatti said.
“This conclusive video evidence is not the same evidence previously seen and used in connection with the prior criminal matter in which Mr. Kelly was charged nor does it depict the same instances of sexual assault,” Avenatti wrote in a statement. “Further, the time frame of the sexual assaults depicted in the video is within the Illinois statute of limitations.”