R Kelly charged with assaulting teen girls

Grammy-winning singer R. Kelly has been charged with the aggravated sexual assault of four people.
Grammy-winning singer R. Kelly has been charged with the aggravated sexual assault of four people.

Grammy-winning R&B singer R. Kelly was charged in Chicago on Friday with the aggravated sexual assault of four people, including three teenage girls, following years of accusations against the performer.

Kelly, 52, was charged in a 10-count Cook County Circuit Court indictment handed down two months after the debut of a six-hour documentary series on the Lifetime television network in which multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct and abuse.

The R&B superstar, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, surrendered to Chicago police on Friday evening, the Hollywood trade publication Variety reported.

His criminal defence lawyers could not be reached for comment on Friday. His lawyer Steven Greenberg earlier in the evening tweeted that Kelly would be turning himself in to Chicago police before midnight.

Greenberg told Reuters in an interview in January the Lifetime series was a "complete fabrication" and that there was no evidence to support the allegations against his client.

At a news conference on Friday after the charges were detailed in a court filing, the Cook County state's lawyer, Kimberly Foxx, said three of the four victims Kelly is accused of sexually abusing between 1998 and 2010 were under age 17 at the time of the assaults.

Kelly, was expected to appear at a bond hearing on Saturday afternoon, Foxx said. The entertainer faces a maximum sentence of 70 years in prison if convicted.

Later on Friday, lawyer Michael Avenatti, who has represented porn star Stormy Daniels in a legal battle with President Donald Trump, told a separate news conference he has been retained by two people who he said were victims, as well as two parents and two "whistleblowers" from Kelly's inner circle.

Avenatti said his firm had uncovered a 40-minute videotape shot in the late 1990s allegedly showing Kelly performing sexual acts with a 14-year-old girl. Avenatti said he had given the tape to prosecutors.

Chicago prosecutors have not said if that footage was part of their case against Kelly.

Australian Associated Press