Thursday, April 22

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of criminal sexual abuse

R&B star R. Kelly was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse Friday in Chicago.

Some of the charges stem from a newly discovered video found by attorney Michael Avenatti that allegedly shows Kelly having sex with a 14-year-old girl, according to a copy of the indictment obtained by USA TODAY.

A no-bail arrest warrant for Kelly has been issued by a Chicago judge, The Associated Press reported. No-bail arrest warrants don’t necessarily mean the defendant won’t eventually be offered bail once appearing in court to answer the charges.

Kelly’s first court date is scheduled for March 8.

The court documents show the charges against Kelly involve multiple victims dating back to at least 1998. Four victims are listed, including at least three between the ages of 13 and 17. The victims are listed only by initials in the document.

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx scheduled a press conference in Chicago to discuss the charges at 3 p.m. ET. Avenatti is holding a news conference immediately after, he said on Twitter.

Avenatti, who remained quiet throughout his 10-month “investigation” of Kelly on behalf of multiple clients, responded to the indictment on Twitter, proclaiming, “After 25 years of serial sexual abuse and assault of underage girls, the day of reckoning for R Kelly has arrived.”

After 25 years of serial sexual abuse and assault of underage girls, the day of reckoning for R Kelly has arrived.

— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) February 22, 2019

Gerald Griggs, an Atlanta lawyer who represents the parents of a woman they believe is being held against her will as a member of Kelly’s alleged “sex cult,” celebrated the indictment and predicted more would be forthcoming soon from “multiple jurisdictions” around the country.

“This is just the beginning of the charges,” Griggs said. Kelly also is under investigation in Fulton County, Ga., and by the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Eastern District of New York, he said. 

“Hopefully, with the swift arrest of Kelly, our clients will be able to make unfettered contact with (their daughter) and get her home and the counseling and the help she needs,” Griggs told USA TODAY.  

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