R. Kelly has officially been charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, the Chicago Tribune reports. The indictment comes about a week after a grand jury in Chicago convened to investigate the alleged sex tape that high-profile attorney Michael Avenatti reportedly gave to authorities.
Based on court records, it was not immediately clear how many alleged victims were involved, but three of the indictments referred to a minor between the ages of 13 and 16, according to the charges.
The charges come after dozens of women accused Kelly of sexual assault and misconduct in a recent Lifetime documentary series. Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx made an unusual public plea last month for any accusers to come forward.
Avenatti said last week he'd given Foxx's office a VHS tape showing Kelly engaging in sex years ago with an underage girl. Sources told TMZ that the tape was crucial evidence leading to the charges against the R&B singer.
Two women reportedly testified for the grand jury, according to TMZ.
Prosecutors are reportedly scheduled to appear before a judge today seeking an arrest warrant for Kelly.
The charges mark the second time that Kelly has been charged with a sex crime, both by Cook County prosecutors. In 2008, prosecutors accused him of child pornography, citing another sex tape. After a sensational trial, Kelly was acquitted of charges alleging he filmed himself having sex with his goddaughter.
Kelly's attorney, Steven Greenberg, has consistently denied allegations of wrongdoing.
In her call for any Kelly accusers to come forward, Foxx cited "deeply, deeply disturbing" allegations in the Lifetime documentary series, Surviving R. Kelly, that details long-standing accusations of sexual misconduct against Kelly. Following her call to action, Foxx's office said it was inundated with tips.0comments
Surviving painted an ugly scene of a "sex cult" that Kelly manipulated young women into joining, forcing them to stay with him against their will and keeping them under his thumb.
Although a groundswell of social media backlash ensued following the airing of the six-hour documentary, Kelly has still enjoyed widespread support, with his music experiencing an uptick in plays on streaming platforms like Spotify. However, Kelly was dropped by Sony Music earlier this year as a client, although his presence remains on the RCA website, as does his black catalog.