R. Kelly has been indicted on 11 new charges, and they're even more serious than the last ones
In February, R. Kelly was indicted on 10 counts of sexual abuse after decades of accusations. The singer has yet to be convicted, but these charges were a huge victory for those fighting to #MuteRKelly. Now, Kelly faces charges of 11 new counts of sexual assault and abuse. And they carry more serious consequences than the first set.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that prosecutors in Cook County, Illinois filed the charges on May 30th. They include four counts of criminal aggravated sexual assault, three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a victim between ages 13 and 16, two counts of criminal sexual assault by force, and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. NBC Chicago notes that four of the charges are Class X felonies, which are the most serious felony offenses in the state apart from first-degree murder.
Kelly would face six to 30 years in prison for each Class X felony if convicted.
According to Chicago NPR affiliate WBEZ, the new charges don’t appear to involve a new victim. A teenager identified as J.P. is listed as the plaintiff in the new charges, and she seems to be one of the alleged victims in Kelly’s previous case. The charges filed on the 30th accuse him of forcibly penetrating J.P., threatening her, and endangering her life. NPR notes that the charges list January 2010 as the time of the abuse.
Throughout the investigation, Kelly has maintained that he is innocent. In a March CBS This Morning interview with Gayle King, he raged about the charges against him, claiming, “I’m fighting for my fucking life.”
Kelly still has to face a trial for these charges, but it’s encouraging that authorities are finally taking the accusations against him seriously. We’ll be watching to see how this case develops.
If you are a survivor of sexual assault or know someone else who is, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.