Rapper R Kelly has surrendered to police in Chicago after an arrest warrant was issued for him on ten counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
Robert Sylvester Kelly, 52, surrendered on Friday night at the 1st District Chicago police station, hours after the Cook County State’s Attorney office issued a no bail warrant for his arrest.
Kelly arrived at the station in a large black van with tinted windows at around 8pm CT. He exited the vehicle wearing a puffy blue coat, entered the station house, was handcuffed and led away.
He did not respond as reporters shouted questions, including ‘Are you innocent?’ and ‘How do you explain the video?’
In response to a question about what he had to say ‘to the black women of Chicago,’ Kelly’s attorney shot back: ‘That’s an offensive question.’
Following Kelly’s arrest, his attorney Steve Greenberg addressed reporters outside the station.
He said that several of the charges are ‘double jeopardy’ because they ‘involve the same girl’ that Kelly was acquitted of producing child pornography with in 2008.
Greenberg also blasted celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti, who said last week that he had turned over to prosecutors damning video evidence of Kelly performing sex acts on a 14-year-old girl.
‘I haven’t seen Avenatti’s tape,’ Greenberg said. ‘I wonder why [prosecutor] Kim Foxx isn’t investigating him for disseminating child porn and watching child porn, which I’m sure he’s done many times.’
Avenatti blasted back minutes later on Twitter: ‘Steve Greenberg is exactly what R Kelly deserves. Happy to be living rent free in this guy’s head.’
Kelly will appear in bond court on Saturday and then be formally arraigned on March 8, according to court records.
Records obtained by DailyMail.com reveal that most of the counts Kelly was charged with on Friday involved girls who were between the ages of 13 and 16 at the time.
The fourth, who claims that she was assaulted by Kelly in 2003, was over the age of 18 at the time of the alleged offense.
— Savannah Eadens (@SavannahEadens) February 23, 2019
In a statement, Kelly’s attorney said the singer is ‘shell-shocked’ by the sex abuse charges.
Kelly has previously denied all allegations of assault and abuse through his lawyer, who was unaware of the charges against his client when contacted on Friday afternoon.
Aggravated criminal sexual abuse is a Class 2 felony with a sentencing range of 3-7 years in prison. He faces up to 70 years behind bars if convicted.
These new charges come one week after the emergence of a rape tape that allegedly features Kelly and a minor.
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx spoke about the charges at a brief press conference on Friday.
She went through the charges related to each of the four victims, using only initials to identify the women.
First was H.W., who was under the age of 17 between the dates of May 26, 1998 and May 25, 1999.
Kelly is charged with four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse for the alleged offenses involving that victim.
Those include an instance of ‘contact between Robert Kelly’s penis and H.W’s sex organ,’ an instance where the contact was with ‘H.W’s mouth’ and when ‘Robert Kelly touched his penis to H.W’s breast.’
The fourth count stems from the claim that ‘Robert Kelly touched his mouth to H.W’s breast.’
R.L. was involved in an incident which occurred between September 26, 1998 and September 25, 2001 when she was a minor.
That alleged incident resulted in two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse – one for ‘contact between Robert Kelly’s penis and R.L’s sex organ’ one for contact with her ‘mouth.’
The third victim L.C. was of the age of consent on February 18, 2003.
‘A grand jury returned an indictment of one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse based on the transmission of semen by Robert Kelly upon any part of the body of the victim for the purpose of sexual gratification during the course of the underlying forcible felony of Attempt Criminal Sexual Assault,’ said Foxx.
The fourth and final victim was identified as J.P., and the incidents she was involved in led to the final three sexual abuse charges against Kelly.
Those incidents took place between May 1, 2009 and January 31, 2010, and the victim was under the age of 17.
In that case there was ‘contact between Robert Kelly’s penis and J.P’s sex organ,’ ‘moth’ and ‘the transmission of semen by Robert Kelly.’
Foxx had made a very public plea for accusers to come forward last month, and there could be more charges to come.
This comes just one day after the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office announced that Jussie Smollett had been indicted by a grand jury on a single charge of disorderly conduct for falsifying a police report.
The speed with which Smollett was indicted had led some to question why the State’s Attorney’s Office seemed to be taking their time with Kelly but rushing through the Smollett case.
Illinois is just one of the states where there is an open investigation into Kelly.
Lawyers for the Southern District of New York have also been meeting with alleged victims as well as agents from the IRS and FBI while the Department of Homeland Security has also opened up a probe.
The rape tape was submitted to the State’s Attorney’s Office last week by Michael Avenatti.
At the time, Avenatti said that he believed it showed Kelly and an underage minor whose age he guessed to be 14.
CNN then watched the tape as well, despite the fact that it is a federal crime to watch child pornography.
When asked if either party might be investigated for these actions, an FBI spokesperson declined to comment.
This all comes in the wake of the Lifetime series Surviving R Kelly.
The six-part docuseries ended on a devastating note, with the parents of one of the young women who had run away with Kelly seen throwing rocks at his studio windows trying to get the attention of their daughter.
When they called Chicago police however, the members of law enforcement were not able to legally enter the property.
Kelly had yet to be hit with any criminal charges in the wake of the docuseries until Friday.
His manager however found himself in trouble with the law days after the series premiered.
A police report filed in Georgia reveals that Don Russell texted and called Timothy Savage, the father of one of the alleged victims, to say it ‘would be best for him and his family if the documentary does not air.’
Russell later said that he and Kelly might have to release information that would destroy Savage, his family and his business.
Savage and his wife Jonelyn have been trying for years to get back their daughter Jocelyn, who ran off to be with Kelly shortly after meeting him backstage at a concert when she was only 17.
They believe that she is being held captive but the singer, but both Kelly and Jocelyn deny this is the case.
The report states that Savage called police shortly after 5am on the day of the incident.
The responding officer then arrived at the house before 5:45am, which is when Russell called Savage on the phone.
Savage was then able to put the phone on speaker so that the officer could hear everything that was being said by Russell.
‘Don says several times that Timothy is providing Lifetime with false information, and that is he continues supporting the documentary that they (R Kelly / Don) would be forced to release information disproving Don,’ reads the report.
‘Don advised Timothy that the information would ruin him, his reputation, business and family, because it would show him a liar.’
This is actually the second time one of the singer’s managers has threatened Savage, who previously filed a police report against James Mason.
There is now an outstanding warrant for Mason after he failed to respond to police when they asked to question him about the ‘threats’ he made to Savage.
The Savages first spoke out in an interview with BuzzFeed on in 2017 which contained worrying allegations that Kelly had been holding a handful of young women in cult like conditions and effectively treating them as his sexual slaves for years.
Some former members of his entourage vouched for their concern. Three separate women said they were all forced to subscribe to his rules.
They said they were told when to eat, bathe, sleep and had to perform sexual acts on one another which the singer then recorded.
Savage’s mother recalled painstakingly how she was present when her daughter met the singer as an aspiring musician herself after being invited backstage to a concert in 2015.
It’s not clear exactly when Jocelyn went to live with Kelly but her family say they have not seen her since December 2017. ‘It was as if she was brainwashed. [She] looked like a prisoner — it was horrible,’ her mother said.
The mother-of-three boasted about meeting the star again in January 2016. On Facebook, she posed with Jocelyn and the star along with one other women, telling friends how they were ‘in the studio’.
In her BuzzFeed interview, she said she thought it would be ‘fine’ for her daughter to spend time with the star if she was there to watch over her.
Jocelyn’s father Timothy believes she is suffering Stockholm Syndrome, a condition which sees hostages grow to love their captors.
The family contacted police after their daughter fled to live with the singer and told officers how he was running a ‘cult’.
Police visited the home where they said she was but it was empty. They then tracked her down in Chicago but she said she was fine and wanted to be left alone by her family.
Cheryl Mack, Kitti Jones, and Asante McGee – all former members of Kelly’s entourage – described in detail the sort of treatment endured by young women who find themselves pulled into the singer’s orbit.
A representative for Kelly spoke out at the time about the claims, saying the singer ‘unequivocally denies’ them and said he will ‘work diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and to clear his name’.
Earlier, Mack, Jones, and McGee said there are at least six women living in properties rented by the R&B star in Chicago and Atlanta. The ‘guest houses’ where the women are kept are near his home in suburban Atlanta, and his apartment at Trump Tower in Chicago.
‘You have to ask for food. You have to ask to go use the bathroom… [Kelly] is a master at mind control… He is a puppet master,’ Mack, who worked as the singer’s assistant, told the website.
The women, who said the ‘babies’ – as the girls are referred to – are required to call Kelly ‘Daddy’, then ran through a list of people they believe were living either at one of the performer’s properties in Atlanta or his Chicago recording studio last summer.
The first woman mentioned in the article was a 31-year-old ‘den mother’, who is reportedly responsible for ‘training newcomers on how Kelly liked to be pleasured sexually’.
The ‘den mother’ ‘had been best friends since high school’ with the person who was allegedly in the videotape that led to Kelly standing trial on child pornography charges in 2008.
Mack said many of the young women are sucked in by the singer because they think: ‘This is R. Kelly, I’m going to live a lavish lifestyle’.
In addition to the aforementioned control Kelly has, he allegedly demands the women ask his permission before leaving a room, are forced to wear jogging suits in public in order to keep their figures hidden, have their phones taken and are given new ones that are only allowed to be used to contact him or others approved by him, and have to deal with a ‘burly’ SUV driver parked outside his properties.
Both Mack and Jones said that if any of the women break the ‘rules’, Kelly ‘punishes them physically and verbally’. Jones recounted a time she angered Kelly by ‘being too friendly’ with the male cashier.
‘I got trapped. I had people telling me I was an idiot. But it took me a long time to realize they were right, and I’m talking now because I hope I can help some of these other girls,’ said Jones.
McGee added: ‘R. Kelly is the sweetest person you will ever want to meet. But Robert is the devil.’
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Keith Griffith and Chris Spargo