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R&B singer R Kelly charged with aggravated criminal sex abuse, some involving minors

Friday February 22 2019

R. Kelly

R&B superstar R. Kelly was charged Friday, February 22, 2019 in Chicago with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sex abuse, some involving minors. PHOTO | AFP 

AFP
By AFP
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CHICAGO,

R&B star R Kelly was charged Friday in Chicago with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sex abuse, some involving minors.

Nine of the charges of the 52-year-old embattled singer - dogged for decades by sexual abuse allegations involving underage women - concern minors ages 13 to 16, a Cook County court official told AFP.

The bombshell development comes as the artist - real name Robert Sylvester Kelly - has faced renewed public scrutiny after a scathing docu-series shed new light on his checkered past.

The R&B luminary has a court date scheduled for 8 March in Chicago, where he resides, the court official said.

Kelly - known for hits like I Believe I Can Fly - over the years has faced a slew of lawsuits and accusations over child pornography, sex with minors, operating a sex cult and sexual battery.

"After 25 years of serial sexual abuse and assault of underage girls, the day of reckoning for R Kelly has arrived," tweeted attorney Michael Avenatti, who is representing several clients linked to the American singer.

Last week, Avenatti - who also represents a porn star locked in a legal battle with President Donald Trump - announced his office had uncovered previously unreleased footage of Kelly having sex with a young girl that the lawyer gave to the Cook County State's Attorney.

It is the second time Cook County prosecutors have charged Kelly with a sex crime: after a dramatic trial that also involved a sex tape, the musician was acquitted of 21 counts of child pornography in 2008.