UPDATE, 8:45 PM: R. Kelly has voluntarily surrendered and is confirmed to be in policy custody in Cook County, Ill, according to a police spokesman. A bond hearing will be held on Saturday afternoon.
Kelly faces several counts, all Class 2 felonies in Illinois, and a probational offense that carries a potential sentence of three to seven years.
Robert Kelly is in police custody, and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said in a news conference today that the singer is expected to appear in count Saturday afternoon for a bond hearing.
The indictment comes after interest is the case was reignited by the documentary series Surviving R. Kelly, which Lifetime aired to strong ratings in January, and a claim by Stormy Daniels lawyer Michael Avenatti that he has uncovered a video showing Kelly involved in sex acts with a 14-year-old girl.
Kelly has denied all the allegations against him since the start. He faced child pornography charges in 2008 over a sex tape but was acquitted after he denied being the man in the video.
The new charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involves four girls, all of whom were underage at the time of the alleged incidents and were identified only by their initials in Foxx’s brief statement. Here are the details: Four counts involving Victim 1, ranging from May 1998 to May 1999; two counts involving Victim 2 between September 1998 and September 2001; one count involving Victim 3 in February 2003; and three counts involving Victim 4 from May 2009 to January 2010.
All but one involve victims being under age 17 and Kelly being at least five years older. The lone expection involves one count of “transmission of semen by Robery Kelly upon any part of the body of the victim for the purpose of sexual gratification during the course of an underlying felony of attempted criminal sexual assault,” Foxx said.
All of the charges are Class B felonies, and Kelly faces a maximum of three to seven years in prison on each count. If convicted of all the charges, he conceivably could face 70 years behind bars, if — per Illinois law — a judge hands down the maximum sentences and opts to have them run consecutively rather than concurrently. Foxx noted today that it “also is probationable,” however.
Today’s charges follow reports last week that a grand jury had been seated to hear the new evidence against the singer whose “I Believe I Can Fly,” from the 1996’s film Space Jam, was a massive hit and scored a Grammy.
Surviving R. Kelly broke Lifetime ratings records when it premiered January 3. Here is the logline for the six-part series: “[Kelly’s] genre-defining career and playboy lifestyle have been riddled with rumors of abuse, predatory behavior and pedophilia. Despite damning evidence and multiple witnesses, to date, none of these accusations seems to have affected him. For the first time, survivors and people from Kelly’s inner circle are coming forward with new allegations about his sexual, mental and physical abuse. They finally are ready to share their full story and shed light on the secret life the public has never seen.”
Questions have surrounded the five-time Grammy winner for much of his career, He’d had a few minor pop hits before breaking out with “Bump N’ Grind,” which topped the Billboard 100 for a month. He followed that up with a run of six consecutive top 10 singles, capped by “I’m Your Angel,” a duet with Celine Dion that spent six weeks at No. 1 in the U.S. in early 1999. Overall, Kelly has amassed 15 Top 10 singles stateside, the most recent in 2004, and a half-dozen No. 1 albums. He also has had three No. 1 singles and 16 Top 10s in the UK.