R&B singer R. Kelly turned himself in to Chicago police Friday night and was arrested, after he was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault.
Kelly, 51, surrendered to police at the Chicago Police Department Central District precinct and is expected to be in bond court Saturday, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.
On Friday, Cook County prosecutors filed an indictment accusing Kelly of abusing four victims, including at least three minors, between 1998 and 2000. The minors were between 13 and 16 at the time of the abuse, prosecutors said.
Kelly was seen leaving his Chicago studio around 7:45 p.m. CT, with about a dozen members of his entourage. He did not say anything to reporters as he walked from his black Mercedes cargo van to the precinct.
During a press conference Friday, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx listed the charges against the "I Believe I Can Fly" singer. Every count is a Class 2 felony, with a three to seven-year prison sentence or probation.
Prosecutors detailed the alleged sexual abuse in the indictment, which identified victims by their initials. In one incident, Kelly allegedly ejaculated on a victim's body for "the purpose of Robert Kelly’s or L.C.’s sexual gratification or arousal." The indictment also says the victims allegedly performed oral sex on the singer.
The indictment came after attorney Michael Avenatti said he gave the Cook County State's Attorney's office a sex tape involving Kelly and a 14-year-old girl. Avenatti later told reporters he was representing at least one of the three girls in the indictment, but did not identify her or reveal what she told the grand jury.
Kelly has faced allegations of sexual misconduct for decades, with some women coming forward to media outlets to accuse him of running a "sex cult." In 2008, he was charged with child pornography, but was acquitted.
The singer has long denied the allegations, and his attorney Steven Greenberg said he would be cleared.
“He’s going to go to bond court, and he’s gonna get out,” Greenberg said early Friday. “They’re making him a sacrificial lamb for their own sake and there’s no merit to any of this.”
The indictment also came less than two months after Lifetime aired the three-episode documentary series Surviving R. Kelly, which revived interest in the allegations against Kelly. Foxx made a plea to women to come forward, and at least two women did, according to the Sun-Times.
"Awesome. Thank God," one of the women told the Sun-Times. "That’s a blessing. I’m so happy.”0comments
According to The New Yorker, a grand jury was called in the Southern District of New York, based on FBI and IRS investigations, to consider federal charges for Kelly. The outlet also reports that the Department of Homeland Security created a squad of about two dozen members to focus on finding evidence against Kelly.
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