Updated: Feb 28, 2019
Embattled R&B superstar R. Kelly was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse on Friday morning in Cook County, Ill.
Friday’s charges come just a week after a video surfaced of the singer allegedly sexually assaulting an underage girl.
The 52-year-old performer is accused of sexually abusing four victims, according to court records. Nine of the counts specify the victim was between 13 and 16. One count did not specify any ages. In the case in which the victim was not identified as a minor, the singer is accused of forcing sexual contact on the victim by use of force or the threat of force.
The charges are Class 2 felonies and a no-bail arrest warrant was issued on Friday. A bond hearing is set for Saturday.
Chicago's top prosecutor, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx, said the sentencing range for aggravated sexual assault is up to seven years in prison. If he’s convicted on all 10 counts, he could face up to 70 years in prison.
For two decades now, the Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter has been trailed by lurid allegations of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls – which he has vehemently denied.
Last week, it was reported that prosecutors in Illinois were moving to indict the singer on charges related to a 45-minute videotape allegedly showing the singer performing multiple sex acts with an underage girl -- both Kelly and the girl describe in graphic terms as being 14 years old – that was handed over to the Cook County State’s Attorney Office by celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti.
Shortly before Kelly’s charges were announced on Friday, Avenatti posted an ominous two-word missive on Twitter: ‘It’s over.’
The singer, born Robert Kelly, is arguably one of the most successful R&B talents of all time.