[Rolling Stone] R. Kelly has been charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in Cook County, Illinois, multiple sources in Chicago reported Friday.
The singer’s first court date stemming from the charges is March 8th, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The Chicago Tribune also confirmed the pending charges against Kelly.
At press time, it is unclear what incident resulted in criminal charges, but in the past week alone, a previously unseen videotape allegedly depicting Kelly having sex with an underage girl had been acquired by Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti; CNN also viewed the videotape, which Avenatti reported handed over to Cook County prosecutors after receiving it from a whistleblower within Kelly’s organization. On Thursday, a new accuser came forward with allegations that Kelly had sex with her when she was underage.
TMZ reports that each count is a class 2 felony and carries a sentence of between 3 to 7 years in prison if found guilty. There are four victims, all females ranging in age from 13 to 16 tied to the 10 charges, TMZ added.
“After 25 years of serial sexual abuse and assault of underage girls, the day of reckoning for R. Kelly has arrived,” Avenatti tweeted. “It’s over.”
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx announced she would hold a news conference pertaining to the charges at 2 p.m. CST. A warrant has been issued for the singer’s arrest, although TMZ reported that Kelly will surrender to authorities Friday night.
Earlier Friday, the New Yorker reported that numerous federal authorities – including the FBI, Homeland Security and IRS – were investigating Kelly. The New Yorker added that an Illinois grand jury was convened in order to weigh charges against Kelly stemming from the newly unearthed sex tape.
Kelly’s lawyer, Steve Greenberg, and advisor, Don Russell, did not immediately reply to requests for comment.