R. Kelly is officially facing criminal charges for sexual abuse.
The news broke on Saturday morning, Australian time, with US authorities confirming the singer, real name Robert Kelly, had been hit with 10 accounts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
As of Saturday morning AEST, a warrant was out for the Ignition singer’s arrest.
The charges concern four women in incidents spanning 1998- 2010. Each count could see him spend three – seven years in prison. If he is found guilty on all counts and receives the maximum sentence for each, he could spend 70 years behind bars.
The charges came after a video allegedly showing R. Kelly assaulting a 14-year-old girl was handed to authorities by lawyer Michael Avenatti, who is representing a whistleblower in the case.
After the news was announced that a grand jury had decided the video was sufficient evidence to lay the charges on Kelly, 52, Avenatti tweeted:
“After 25 years of serial sexual abuse and assault of underage girls, the day of reckoning for R Kelly has arrived.”
After 25 years of serial sexual abuse and assault of underage girls, the day of reckoning for R Kelly has arrived.
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) February 22, 2019
Allegations of sexual abuse have followed R. Kelly for years. But interest was renewed in the star after three-part documentary Surviving R. Kelly aired fresh claims last month.
Surviving R. Kelly is at times harrowing, but worth watching to understand the devastating impact the singer has allegedly had on so many women and girls. It premiered on Foxtel’s Crime + Investigation channel yesterday, February 22.
His first court appearance is set for March 8.