The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office has charged singer R. Kelly with 11 new counts of criminal sexual abuse, The Chicago Tribune and The Chicago Sun-Times reported Thursday, bringing the total number of charges against him in Illinois up to 21.
The new charges resulted from an offense that allegedly took place in 2010. Because few details were made available, it was not immediately clear whether the victim, whose initials are listed as J.P., is a new accuser or one of the four women from Kelly’s 10-count indictment from February who had the same initials.
Kelly’s lawyer, Chicago-based criminal defense attorney Steve Greenberg, told USA TODAY the case in question was not new. Later, he expanded on his point, issuing a statement from an unverified Twitter account: “#RKelly was NOT charged with a new case. He was recharged in an existing case, same alleged victim and time (a decade ago) It changes nothing.”
According to The Sun-Times, which published the new court filings, the counts are as follows: 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 who was between the ages of 13 and 17 at the time of her assault. Three of the four women from the original indictment were minors at the time.
Prosecutors allege that Kelly used force or threatened to do so in order coerce the accuser into sex or to perform oral sex on him. Because she was underage at the time, they say the statute of limitations is extended to 20 years from her 18th birthday.
According to the filing, the first eight counts are from encounters that allegedly occurred between Jan. 1 and Jan. 31, 2010. Three others pertain to alleged encounters between May 1, 2009, and Jan. 31, 2010.
The four aggravated criminal sexual assault counts could land Kelly in prison for up to 30 years if he’s convicted on any of them.
Kelly has been free on $1 million bond since his February arrest. It’s unclear whether the new charges will affect his status.
Over the past two decades, Robert Sylvester Kelly, 52, has faced multiple allegations of sexual abuse of women and girls, including sex with underage girls and accusations that he trapped female fans in a “sex cult” that cut them off from their families and subjected them to degrading abuse.
He has been tried for a sex crime only once, in Chicago, and was acquitted in 2008.
Then, in January of this year, “Surviving R. Kelly,” a series began airing on Lifetime. Over the course of six episodes, scores of women came forward on camera to accuse Kelly of shocking abuse.
Timeline:R. Kelly’s history of sex-abuse arrests, indictments and lawsuits
State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, who said she was “sickened” by the allegations laid out in “Surviving R. Kelly,” called a press conference in January to solicit accusers and witnesses to come forward. In February, she announced the first 10 state indictments against Kelly.
R. Kelly has been charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse, after decades of lurid rumors and allegations that the R&B star was sexually abusing women and underage girls. (Feb. 22)
Kelly’s defense team has recently swelled from one attorney, Steve Greenberg, to six, including Nicole Blank Becker of Detroit, a former federal prosecutor of sex crimes who represents defendants accused of sex crimes.
However, it’s not clear how Kelly, who was briefly jailed in March for failure to pay more than $161,000 in overdue child support and told CBS’ Gayle King that he had $350,000 in the bank, is paying for his defense team.
Contributing: Maria Puente, USA TODAY; Associated Press
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