Ten years after being acquitted of sexual abuse crimes for allegedly having sex with a minor on video, embattled R&B crooner R. Kelly was hit Friday morning, Feb. 22, 2019, with a new wave of sex abuse charges in his Chicago hometown, a news report says.
Kelly, who has been accused of pedophilia and other gross sexual improprieties for more than 25 years, has been slapped with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in Cook County, Illinois, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
A warrant has been issued for Kelly’s arrest on the Class 2 felony charges, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said Friday. The charges, which were delivered to her from a grand jury, span from 1998 to 2010, Foxx said. If convicted, Kelly faces a maximum of seven years in prison for each count.
The “Step in the Name of Love” singer is scheduled to appear in court on Saturday, Feb. 23, for a bail hearing. His arraignment is scheduled for March 8.
The charges Foxx announced against Kelly during a Friday afternoon news conference are as follows:
- The first alleged victim was involved in incidents with Kelly from May 26, 1998, to May 25, 1999. The grand jury returned with an indictment on four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, as the victim was under the age of 17 and Kelly was more than five years older than the victim;
- The second alleged victim was involved with Kelly from Sept. 26, 1998, to Sept. 25, 2001. The grand jury returned with an indictment on two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, as the victim was under the age of 17 and Kelly was more than five years her senior;
- The third alleged victim was involved in incidents that occurred on Feb. 18, 2003. The grand jury returned one indictment of aggravated criminal sexual abuse related to “transmission of semen” by Kelly onto any part of the body of the victim “for the purpose of sexual gratification during the commission of a felony of criminal sexual assault.”
- The fourth alleged victim was involved in incidents from May 1, 2009, to Jan. 31, 2010. The grand jury returned an indictment of three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse based on the victim being under the age of 17 and Kelly being more than five years older than the victim.
Kelly, 52, has repeatedly denied that he committed any wrongdoing and that the women came to his homes in Chicago and Atlanta of their own volition.
The momentum to prosecute Kelly was ratcheted up multiple notches after the airing of the Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly” in early January. The six-part docuseries detailed multiple accounts of sexual abuse and assault over the course of two decades. Since then, Kelly has lost multiple concert gigs as well as friends and former music collaborators. He has been ceremoniously banned from the city of Philadelphia, and he was also dropped by his one and only music label, RCA, which he had been with for more than 30 years.
The news of the charges came as a surprise to the R. Kelly camp. His attorney, Steven Greenberg, said he had no idea that R. Kelly had been charged until the Sun-Times notified him.