R. Kelly Charged With Aggravated Sex Abuse In Cook County

At least three R. Kelly victims are underage

February 22, 2019 - 12:38 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- R&B superstar R. Kelly was charged Friday morning with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in Cook County, court records show.

Cook County prosecutors appeared Friday morning before Judge Dennis Porter to approve a no-bail warrant for Kelly’s arrest. No-bail arrest warrants don't necessarily mean the defendant won't eventually be offered bail once appearing in court to answer the charges. Sources connected to Kelly tell TMZ the singer plans to voluntarily turn himself into authorities on Friday night. 

According to court records, Kelly is accused of sexually abusing four victims. Nine of the counts specify the victim was between 13 and 16. One count did not specify any ages. The alleged crimes span from 1998 to 2010.

Indictment 1 -> February 18, 2003. Victim “L.C.” 

Indictment 2 -> May 26, 1998 to May 25, 1999. Victim “H.W” - victim was a minor

Indictment 3 -> May 1, 2009 to January 31, 2010. Victim “J.P” - victim was a minor

Indictment 4 -> September 26, 1998 to September 25, 2001. Victim “R.L” - victim was a minor

The charges identify the victims only by initials and the dates of the alleged abuse:

  • H.W. (13-16 years of age), between May 26, 1998, and May 25, 1999; four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, based on the victim being under the age of 17 and Robert Kelly being more than 5 years older than the victim.
  • R.L. (13-16 years of age), between Sept. 26, 1998, and Sept. 25, 2001; two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, based on the victim being under the age of 17 and Robert Kelly being more than 5 years older than the victim.
  • L.C. (no age given), in Feb. 18, 2003; one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, based on the transmission of semen by Robert Kelly upon any part of the body of the victim for the purpose of sexual gratification during the course of an underlying felony of attempt criminal sexual assault.
  • J.P. (13-16 years of age), between May 1, 2009, and Jan. 31, 2010; three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, based on the victim being under the age of 17 and Robert Kelly being more than 5 years older than the victim.

The aggravated criminal sexual abuse charge is a Class 2 Felony in Illinois, and each charge carries a max sentence of three to seven years in prison. It is also probational, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx said.

Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx said a bond hearing for R. Kelly will be held Saturday between 12:30-1 p.m. 

Friday's charges come after years of allegations directed at Kelly, accusing the now 52-year-old of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls. Through his lawyers, he has consistently denied them.

Kelly, whose legal name is Robert Kelly, is one of the top-selling recording artists of all time. He has won multiple Grammys, including for his hit-song, "I Believe I Can Fly."

This is the second time Kelly has been charged with a sex crime by Cook County prosecutors. Both cases included a sex tape. 

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.

Attorney Michael Avenatti gave Chicago prosecutors new video evidence of R. Kelly having sex with an underage girl earlier this month. Avenatti said the video isn't the same evidence used in Kelly's 2008 trial, when he was acquitted on child pornography charges. CNN reported the nearly 45-minute VHS tape shows a man appearing to be Kelly performing sex acts with a girl who refers to her body parts as 14 years old.

Avenatti said the video surfaced during a 10-month investigation that included witness interviews and examination of documents and evidence throughout the U.S. He told The Associated Press the person who provided the tape knew both Kelly and the female in the video. He also said he didn't know where the person had kept the video or why they hadn't provided it to law enforcement previously.

Kelly denied all the allegations, and his lawyer, Steve Greenberg, said Kelly was the victim of a TV hit piece. He said Kelly "never knowingly had sex with an underage woman, he never forced anyone to do anything, he never held anyone captive, he never abused anyone."

Avenatti didn't say when the video was recorded, but said the acts depicted in it are within the Illinois statute of limitations for criminal charges.

It is unclear if the charges are related to the videotape the attorney provided.

The charges also come after two women publicly accused Kelly of sexual misconduct in the 1990's. Two women said this month that R. Kelly picked them out of a crowd at a Baltimore after-party in the mid-1990s when they were underage and had sex with one of the teens although she was under the influence of marijuana and alcohol and could not consent.

The women, Latresa Scaff and Rochelle Washington, joined lawyer Gloria Allred at a New York City news conference to tell their story publicly for the first time. Scaff said she was 16 and Washington was 15 when the pair attended a concert and after-party featuring Kelly and LL Cool J in Baltimore.

Scaff said Kelly singled the girls out at the after-party, had a member of his entourage ply them with drugs and alcohol and told them to meet him at his hotel suite.

"We both went to the hotel, thinking there was going to be another party there," Scaff said.

Scaff said the two girls were in Kelly's hotel room when Kelly entered with his penis already outside of his jeans. She said he wanted a threesome with the two teens but Washington said no and escaped to the bathroom.

With Washington in the bathroom, Kelly asked Scaff for oral sex and then had intercourse with her although she was under the influence of marijuana and alcohol and "did not have the capacity to consent," she said.

"When I first met R. Kelly that night, I was very happy and excited because I was young and starstruck," Scaff said. "However now that I am an adult, I feel hurt by what he did to me when I was only 16 years old and under the influence of alcohol and marijuana which had been provided to me at his after-party."

Last month, Cook County Prosecutor Kim Foxx asked potential victims to come forward after Lifetime aired the documentary "Surviving R. Kelly," which revisited the allegations against Kelly and put a spotlight on new ones.

“The day of reckoning has arrived” for R. Kelly, Avenatti said in a tweet.

Attorney Michael Avenatti said his team will discuss "our investigation, new evidence and new developments in the R. Kelly matter" at a Friday afternoon press conference.

R. Kelly's first court date is listed as March 8, according to records.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

(WBBM Newsradio and The Associated Press contributed to this copy. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)