The steady toppling of R. Kelly’s once-mighty musical empire continued this week in a federal courtroom in Brooklyn, New York, when one of the singer’s associates pleaded guilty to attempted bribery.
Richard Arline Jr., 31, read a statement in open court Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 2, 2021, that he played a direct role in the conspiracy to prevent testimony that might prove damning to the disgraced R&B singer.
“Me and another person offered Jane Doe money for her to not go forward with her complaint or testimony against Robert Kelly,” Arline said virtually during the court proceedings, according to Page Six. “I knew what I did was wrong.”
The publication stated that Arline faces up to 15 years in prison for being part of a bribery trio who allegedly tried to help R. Kelly. The other two men, Donnell Russell and Michael Wilson, were also arrested in 2020 for the same crimes.
Arline will be sentenced on June 9.
The U.S. Department of Justice was able to secure irrefutable proof that R. Kelly and his cronies were trying to influence the witness pool in their favor by obtaining the conspirators’ text messages and listening in on their calls.
“Rob is trying to get his cousin rich [sic] in contact with you because he wants to pay you for silence,” one of the texts read, according to Page Six. Another of the unnamed witnesses was offered $500,000 for her silence during a May 26, 2020, phone call.
Robert Sylvester Kelly, 54, is going to trial later this year after his federal indictments on racketeering, sex trafficking and multiple other charges related to sexually assaulting a bevy of underage women and transporting them across state lines.