UPDATED: The Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx announced criminal charges against R. Kelly at a press conference this afternoon. The singer has been charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four victims — three of whom were minors — in incidents that took place between 1998 and 2010; he will have his first court date on March 8.
A warrant for the singer’s arrest has been issued and he is expected to appear at a bond hearing Saturday afternoon; his attorney, Steve Greenberg, told the Associated Press Friday that Kelly is “shell-shocked” and “extraordinarily disappointed and depressed” by the indictment against him and plans to turn himself in to authorities Friday night.
The victims were identified only by their initials in the press conference and legal documents.
This latest development comes after a sex tape reportedly surfaced featuring Kelly engaging in sexual acts with an underage girl, according to CNN and the New Yorker; attorney Michael Avenatti, who claims to have procured the tape and submitted it to law-enforcement authorities, said in a press conference Friday that he represents at least one of the women named in the indictment and that he has another Kelly sex tape. A grand jury was reportedly convened in the case in Cook County, Illinois, earlier this week, and TMZ reported early Friday that two women had testified.
Kelly has multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against him dating back 25 years, although he has never been convicted. Most recently, two women came forward in a press conference on Thursday, accusing Kelly of misconduct when they were 16 and 15 years old, respectively.
“Surviving R. Kelly,” a harrowing docuseries that aired on Lifetime earlier this year, renewed interest in the allegations against Kelly. Following the release of the series, Foxx urged others with stories about the musician to come forward. In late January, she announced she received 12 responses about Kelly and was evaluating with her office on how to move forward with legal action. In a statement released to Variety on Friday, a rep for the Lifetime network said, “We are proud that Lifetime was able to provide a platform for survivors to be heard.”
The surfacing of the alleged sex tape, which reportedly shows Kelly “sexually assaulting an underage girl,” seemed to push the case forward. CNN and the New Yorker reported on Feb. 14 that prosecutors were moving to indict him.
Kelly has consistently denied any wrongdoing. See the criminal complaint against Kelly below.
R. Kelly Criminal Complaint by on Scribd