It is being reported the R&B star R. Kelly was charged with 10 counts of felony criminal sexual abuse.
As the Washington Examiner reports, rumors of R. Kelly’s misconduct have circulated for decades as some of the more salacious rumors included sexually abusing underage victims.
Via the Washington Examiner:
Tandra Simonton, spokeswoman for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, confirmed to The Associated Press the charges had been filed against the 52-year-old Grammy winner but declined to say the specific number. Media reports said there were 10 counts, all involving underage victims.
Over the years, he has consistently denied any sexual misconduct.
Kelly, whose legal name is Robert Kelly, is one of the top-selling recording artists of all time, with hits such as “I Believe I Can Fly,” and his arrest sets the stage for another #MeToo-era celebrity trial. Bill Cosby went to prison last year, and former Hollywood studio boss Harvey Weinstein is awaiting trial.
While R. Kelly dodged a major sex-related case in 2008, the rumors of his misconduct stayed with him and resurfaced most recently after a BBC documentary called “Surviving R. Kelly” was released.
In 2008, a jury acquitted Kelly of child pornography charges over a graphic video that prosecutors said showed him having sex with a girl as young as 13. He and the young woman allegedly depicted with him denied they were in the 27-minute video, even though the picture quality was good and witnesses testified it was them, and she did not take the stand. Kelly could have gotten 15 years in prison.
Legally and professionally, the walls began closing in on Kelly more recently after the release of a BBC documentary about him last year and, last month, the multipart Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly.” Together they detailed allegations he was holding women against their will and running a “sex cult.”
After the latest documentary, Chicago’s top prosecutor, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, said she was “sickened” by the allegations and asked potential victims to come forward.
As the Associated Press reports, R. Kelly visited the same Cook County courtroom that he went to during the 2008 case.
“If convicted, the Grammy Award-winning singer could be sentenced to up to 70 years behind bars,” the report adds.
Here’s even more:
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.
“He is extraordinarily disappointed and depressed,” he said. “He is shell-shocked by this.”
He added that prosecutors had “succumbed to the court of public opinion, who’ve convicted him,” adding that Kelly looked forward to being acquitted at another trial.
One of Kelly’s victims in the new case was allegedly assaulted by him within just a year or two after his 2008 trial ended; the other allegations date to the late 1990s and early 2000s, according to the indictment.
Prior to the 2008 trial, prosecutors didn’t state publicly why they chose not to charge and try Kelly for sexual assault. But legal experts widely agreed it had to do with victim’s unwillingness to testify.