Chicago police: Singer R. Kelly arrested at precinct

CHICAGO  — R&B star R. Kelly was taken into custody after coming Friday night in a Chicago police precinct, hours after police announced multiple charges of aggravated sexual abuse involving four victims, including at least three between the ages of 13 and 17.

The 52-year-old singer, whose real name is Robert Kelly, was driven to the station in a dark colored van with heavily tinted rear windows. The vehicle pulled up outside the precinct about 8:15 p.m. and a security detail for Kelly kept reporters and cameramen at arms’ span as he exited the side door.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted a brief time later that was under arrest.

Kelly did not respond to queries from reporters as he walked inside the building. He had been expected to be held prior to an appearance Saturday in bond court.

Cook County State’s Attorney’s Kim Foxx announced 10 counts Friday against the Grammy winner. She said the abuse dated back as far as 1998 and spanned over a decade.

Kelly has been trailed for decades by allegations he violated women and underage girls and held some.

The singer, who was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008, has denied any misconduct.

“He is extraordinarily disappointed and depressed. He’s shell-shocked by this,” Greenberg told The Associated Press.

The arrest sets the stage for another #MeToo-era celebrity trial. Bill Cosby went to prison this past year, and Hollywood studio boss Harvey Weinstein is currently awaiting trial.

Best known for hits such as “I Believe I Can Fly,” Kelly was charged a week after Michael Avenatti, the attorney whose clients have included porn star Stormy Daniels, said he gave prosecutors new video evidence of the singer with an underage girl.

At a news conference in Chicago, Avenatti said a 14-year-old woman seen with R. Kelly on the video is one of four victims cited in the indictment. He said the footage shows two separate scenes on two different times at Kelly’s dwelling in the late 1990s.

During the video the victim and Kelly refer to her age 10 times, he said.

Avenatti said he represents six clients, including two victims, two parents and two people he describes as “knowing R. Kelly and being inside his inner circle for the better part of 25 years. ”

The new charges marked “a watershed moment,” he said, adding that he believes more than 10 other individuals associated with Kelly should be billed as “enablers” for assisting with the assaults, transporting minors and covering up evidence.

The video surfaced during a 10-month investigation by Avenatti’s office. He told the AP that the person who provided the VHS tape knew both Kelly and the female in the video.

The jury in 2008 acquitted Kelly of child pornography charges that arose from a video that was graphic that prosecutors said showed him having sex with a woman as young as 13. He and the young woman allegedly seen with him denied they were in the 27-minute video, despite the fact that the picture quality was good and witnesses testified it was them, and she did not take the stand. Kelly could have gotten 15 years in prison.

Charging Kelly now for activities that occurred in exactly the same time period as the allegations suggests the accusers are willing to testify and working this time.

Because the alleged victim ten years ago denied that she had been on the video and did not testify, the nation ’s attorney office had little recourse except to charge the lesser offense under Illinois law, child porn, which required a lesser standard of evidence.

Each count of the new fees carries up to seven years in prison. If Kelly is convicted on all 10 counts, a judge could decide that the sentences run one after another — making it possible for him to receive up to 70 years behind bars. Probation is an option under the statute.

Greenberg said he offered to sit down with prosecutors before why the allegations were “ baseless charges were filed to talk about. ” But they refused, he said.

“Unfortunately, they’ve succumbed to the court of public opinion, who’ve convicted him.

Professionally and professionally, the walls started closing in on Kelly following the release of a BBC documentary about him last year and the multipart Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” which aired last month. Together they detailed allegations he running a “ sex cult and held women against their will. ”

#MeToo activists and a social networking movement using the hashtag #MuteRKelly called on streaming solutions to fall Kelly’s audio and promoters to not reserve any concerts. Protesters demonstrated outside Kelly’s Chicago studio.

As recently as Thursday, two women held a news conference in New York to describe Kelly picked them from a crowd at a Baltimore after-party in the mid-1990s when they were underage. They said Kelly had sex when she had been under the influence of alcohol and marijuana and could not consent.

Latresa Scaff and Rochelle Washington were joined by lawyer Gloria Allred when they told their story publicly.

In the indictment, the prosecution dealt with the matter of the statute of limitations, stating that abuse that occurred falls within the charging window permitted under Illinois law. Victims have to report abuse, when they turn 18, starting.

The singer and songwriter, whose legal name is Robert Kelly, rose from poverty on Chicago’s South Side and has retained a following. He’s written numerous hits including Celine Dion, Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga. His collaborators have included Jay-Z and Usher.

Kelly broke into the R&B scene in 1993 with his first solo album, “12 Play,” which produced such tunes as “Bump N’ Grind” and “Your Body’s Callin’. ”

Months after those successes, the then-27-year-old Kelly faced allegations he married 15-year-old Aaliyah, the R&B celebrity who later died in a plane crash in the Bahamas. Kelly was the lead songwriter and producer of Aaliyah’s 1994 debut album.

Kelly and Aaliyah never confirmed the marriage, though Vibe magazine published a copy of the marriage license. Court documents obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times revealed Aaliyah admitted lying about her age on the license.

Jim DeRogatis, a music critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, played a key role in drawing the attention of law enforcement to Kelly. In 2002, he received the sex tape in the email that was fundamental to Kelly’s 2008 trial. It turned over. In 2017, DeRogatis wrote a story for BuzzFeed about the allegations Kelly was holding women against their will in Georgia.

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