R. Kelly Charged, 10 Counts Aggravated Sexual Abuse, Singer Plans to Surrender
R. KellyCharged with 10 Counts Sexual Abuse ...Warrant Issued for Arrest
2/22/2019 2:02 PM PT
2:15 PM PT -- Michael Avenatti just said he represents at least 1 of the alleged victims in the R. Kelly indictment, and he reps a total of 2 victims, 2 parents and 2 whistleblowers who were part of the singer's inner circle. He says the videotape he submitted to prosecutors shows R. Kelly having sex with a 14-year-old girl -- vaginal sex, anal sex, oral sex and urination. He says at one point the girl was forced to watch a video of R. Kelly, whom she called "daddy," having sex with another minor.
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Avenatti says he is going after R. Kelly's enablers -- lawyers, agents, managers and others whom he says stood idly by as R. Kelly sexually abused girls. He says his mission is bringing them to justice.
And, Avenatti says the 2008 trial -- in which R. Kelly was found not guilty -- was rigged, with various forms of obstruction of justice and witness intimidation.
Avenatti says he has yet another video and is in the process of procuring a third video.
2:00 PM PT -- Avenatti just released this image from the video he submitted to the State's Attorney, showing what appears to be R. Kelly. He says the singer is having sex with a 14-year-old girl.
12:20 PM PT -- Cook County District Attorney Kim Foxx just read the charges and dates of when the alleged sex crimes occurred. She said the first victim was allegedly abused between May 26, 1998, and May 25, 1999. The second victim was between September 26, 1998, and September 25, 2001. The third victim on February 18, 2003. And, the fourth victim between May 1, 2009, and January 31, 2010.
Foxx also said "we anticipate [Kelly] will appear in bond court [Saturday] afternoon." She answered no questions in the brief news conference.
Michael Avenatti joined us Friday on "TMZ Live," explained why he felt it was so important to keep his months-long R. Kelly investigation under wraps. Of course, that investigation uncovered the latest alleged sex tape of Kelly.
12:00 PM PT -- According to the Associated Press, a no-bail arrest warrant has been issued for Kelly.
R. Kelly has been charged with 10 counts by the Cook County State's Attorney.
Prosecutors hit him with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse Friday morning. TMZ has learned 9 of the 10 counts involve alleged victims ranging in age from 13 to 16 years old. One of them is the subject of 4 different counts. There are a total of 4 alleged victims.
According to the complaint, the allegations include oral and vaginal sex with a girl between the ages of 13 and 16. The complaint says he "transmitted his semen onto [the alleged victim's] body for the purpose of Robert Kelly's or [the alleged victim's] sexual gratification or arousal, by the use of force or threat of force."
Sources connected to Kelly tell TMZ the singer plans to voluntarily turn himself in to authorities tonight. Still, prosecutors will reportedly appear before a judge today seeking an arrest warrant for him.
The criminal sexual abuse charge is a class 2 felony in Illinois, and each charge carries a max sentence of 3 to 7 years in prison. TMZ broke the story ... 2 women testified for the grand jury over the last week, including one who provided physical evidence. We're told as many as a dozen women came forward to testify.
A grand jury had convened about a week ago to investigate the alleged sex tape Michael Avenatti handed over to authorities.
Sources connected to the case tell us the tape was a pivotal force leading to the charges. We're told that Avenatti and his client spent a significant amount of time with the Cook County State's Attorney and the grand jury in the last few weeks.
As we reported, Avenatti says he uncovered the VHS tape after his clients alleged Kelly had been having sex with minors for years. The tape reportedly shows Kelly having sex with a girl who seems to be 14 -- with both Kelly and the girl referring to her genitals and other body parts as being 14 years old.
The charges come directly on the heels of 2 other Kelly accusers coming forward with their attorney Gloria Allred. The women allege sexual misconduct by Kelly in a Baltimore hotel room in 1998 ... when they were both underage teens.
It's still unclear when the new alleged sex tape was shot, but Avenatti said he was sure it fell within the statute of limitations.