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R. Kelly’s already bad legal situation just got a whole lot worse.
Cook County prosecutors slapped the world-famous R&B singer with a series of new sexual assault charges: 11 felony counts that carry a potential sentence of over 100 years in prison, according to charging documents released Thursday.
The new charges include four counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, two counts of criminal sexual assault by force, two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, and three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse against a victim between 13 and 16 years old.
The four counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault are the most serious Kelly has faced so far, and each carries a maximum sentence of up to 30 years. Back in February, prosecutors charged Kelly with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, but each count only carried a sentence of 3 to 7 years. Kelly is currently out of jail on bond.
The alleged offenses happened in 2010, but it’s unclear if the victim of the new charges is new. She shares the same initials as a victim listed in previous charging documents.
“We’ll see what the charges are, and we’ll proceed accordingly,” R. Kelly’s lawyer, Steve Greenberg, told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I know this much: It’s old. They’re allegations from years ago.”
R. Kelly has long been accused of assaulting young girls. He infamously married the singer Aaliyah in 1994, when he was 26 and she was just 15. Despite years of dogged reporting about his sexual past, Kelly’s career finally began to crumble after a six-party documentary series aired that detailed decades of his alleged abuse and misconduct.
Kelly was also acquitted on child pornography charges in 2008 over an infamous tape that purportedly showed him urinating on an underage girl. On top of that, Kelly also allegedly held women as sex slaves in his homes and recording studios, acccording to an astonishing 2018 BuzzFeed News report.
Cover image: Musician R. Kelly, right, leaves the Leighton Criminal Court building after a hearing in his sex-abuse case, Tuesday, May 7, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)