UPDATED: Singer R. Kelly, who has already been charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse, has been hit with 11 new counts of sexual assault and sexual abuse, according to Cook County, Illinois, court records cited by the Chicago Tribune.
While details were incomplete, the paper says four of the new counts charge Kelly with aggravated criminal sexual assault — a Class X felony, the most serious in Illinois, that carries six to 30 years in prison if the accused is convicted. Kelly is due in court on June 6 to face the charges.
Three of the new counts accuse him of sexually abusing a victim between the ages of 13 and 16 in 2010, the paper says. It was unclear whether the victim in question is one of the four victims — three of whom were underage — that Kelly was charged in February with sexually abusing, although the new counts appear to be additional charges from a woman identified as “J.P.” who was at the center of one of the February indictments.
“We’ll see what it is, and we’ll deal with it accordingly,” Kelly’s attorney, Steven Greenberg, told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I know this much: it’s old. They’re allegations from years ago.” He later tweeted, “[Kelly] was NOT charged with a new case. He was recharged in an existing case, same alleged victim and time . It changes nothing … These are the same conduct, just charged differently, same alleged victim, same time frame, same facts. We expect the same results.”
The singer has pleaded not guilty to the counts from February, for which he was bailed on a $1 million bond.
While accusations of sexual misconduct against underage girls have swirled around the singer for decades, he has become increasingly embattled in recent months, particularly in the wake of the Lifetime docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly.” He was dropped by his longtime record label, RCA, and has faced challenges booking concerts, cutting off much of his sources of income.
Greenberg recently said Kelly has been struggling financially and spent several days in jail after his arrest earlier this year on the abuse charges before he was able to raise the $100,000 required to secure his release on $1 million bail. A female fan ultimately put up the money. He was jailed again just weeks later for failure to pay child support for his three children with ex-wife Drea Kelly, who is among those speaking out against him.