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Image / Editorial

‘Day of Reckoning’: R Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse


by Jennifer McShane
23rd Feb 2019
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There has been countless reports, investigations and even a documentary into the alleged dangerous and predatory behaviour of singer R Kelly. It has gone on for decades. This week, a lawyer representing many of his victims has described a “day of reckoning” for the musician who, on Friday night, was formally charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse in Chicago.

He turned himself into police after being charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse against four victims, three of them minors, according to The Guardian. The incidents occurred between May 1998 to May 1999; September 1998 to September 2001; May 2009 to January 2010; and in February 2003.

Each charge is a Class 2 Felony and, if convicted, could see the singer serve three to seven years for each.

Related: R Kelly’s daughter should not have had to address his allegations

It comes after a US judge approved a no-bail arrest warrant for the 52-year-old.

High-profile lawyer Michael Avenatti, who is representing two victims, two parents and two whistle-blowers linked to Kelly vowed to go after his “enablers,” who he said, “turned a blind eye while teenage girls were sexually assaulted for over two decades.”

“They did not want to kill the golden goose,” he said.

“Today marks a watershed moment in the 25 years of abuse by this predator”

Multiple women have accused Kelly of violent and controlling behaviour over the years, including allegations he had sex with girls as young as 14 and brainwashed young women in what their parents described as a “cult” in a Buzzfeed investigative report.

A recently aired documentary, Surviving R Kelly, featured testimony from some of these women and prompted new investigations, including an outpouring of solidarity and support from female musicians (some who had worked with Kelly in the past) denouncing him. Celine Dion and Lady Gaga both removed their duets with him from all streaming devices in support of the victims.

Related: Celine Dion’s duet with R Kelly has been pulled from streaming service

Kelly’s lawyer Steve Greenberg dismissed the charges, saying they were based on old and false accusations, claiming “he’s an innocent man” and vowed the musician would be “vindicated,” saying “I think all of the women are lying.”

A court date was scheduled for 8 March in Chicago.

Main image via AJ+ on Twitter