CHICAGO (CN) – Illinois prosecutors on Friday hit R&B singer R. Kelly with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse following decades of misconduct allegations swirling around the Chicago native.
Suspicion has been hanging over the musician since a 27-year-old Kelly married the late singer Aaliyah in 1994 when she was just 15.
Kelly, now 52, has been charged by Cook County prosecutors before, going on trial in 2008 for 21 counts of child pornography before being acquitted.
Cook County State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx asked any victims or those with information to come forward after seeing the Lifetime docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly,” which began airing in January and details the Grammy winner’s alleged operation of a sex cult.
Just over a month later, Foxx announced that four victims have come forward.
Three of the women were under 17 at the time of their alleged abuse. Foxx said Kelly has been charged with 10 criminal counts stemming from incidents that occurred from 1998 through 2010.
The prosecutor did not give any details about the allegations from H.W., R.L., L.C. and J.P., but added that the charges were Class 2 felonies that came with three to seven-year sentences for each count.
A separate civil lawsuit was brought against Kelly on Thursday evening in Cook County Circuit Court.
The plaintiff says Kelly sexually assaulted her in 1998 while she was 16. After he stopped her while she was walking down a Chicago street, she claims an associate of the singer later invited her to his studio.
She “was star struck and wanted to meet with [Kelly] to pursue a role in what she believed to be a music video,” the complaint says.
Echoing details given by other victims, the woman says in her lawsuit that Kelly “had a long history of interactions with minor young women that he would charm and lure to his studio or residence under the guise of prospects in the music or entertainment business only to become victims of sexual assault.”
Her attorney, Jeffrey Deutschman of Deutschman & Skafish P.C., said his client has been cooperating with Foxx’s investigation, although he does not know if she is a part of the indictment.
Deutschman noted that the criminal cases come first, and are “the best measure of justice for her and the rest of these women.”
“He’s going to go to jail, in my opinion,” Deutschman said. “This guy deserves everything he has coming to him.”
Kelly’s attorney Steven Greenberg did not respond Friday to a request for comment from Courthouse News, but in the past has denied all accusations.
The singer is not currently in custody, but Foxx said “we anticipate that Mr. Kelly will appear in bond court tomorrow afternoon.” The hearing is at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago.
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