Singer R. Kelly was placed in handcuffs as he entered a Chicago police station Friday night, hours after he was indicted on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse – a class 2 felony – involving four alleged victims.
His attorney, Steve Greenberg, said Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx succumbed to public pressure and that his client is an innocent man.
“I think all the women are lying,” Greenberg said.
Kelly didn’t speak to the media.
“Mr. Kelly is strong, he’s got a lot of support and he’s going to be vindicated on all these charges – one by one if it has to be,” Greenberg said.
Kelly is scheduled to appear in court Saturday for a bail hearing, Foxx said Friday while announcing the charges. Arraignment is set for March 8.
The charges handed up in an indictment from a grand jury span from 1998 to 2010, Foxx said.
If convicted, Kelly faces three to seven years in prison for each count.
Kelly has been associated with accusations of abuse, manipulation and inappropriate encounters with girls and young women for more than two decades.
He has strongly denied the accusations.
The indictment accuses Kelly of sexual acts with three children older than 13 but younger than 17. There is no age range listed for one of the alleged victims. The charges say Kelly used force or the threat of force.
Homeland Security Investigations is involved in an investigation of Kelly, an US Immigration and Customs Enforcement official said. The official did not provide any details. The news was first reported by The New Yorker.
Newly discovered video
A grand jury was convened in Cook County, Illinois, earlier this month in connection with new allegations against Kelly, two sources close to the case told CNN.
That came on the heels of attorney Michael Avenatti announcing he had handed over to the State’s Attorney’s Office a videotape that he said showed Kelly having sex with an underage girl.
“This tape leaves no question as to whether R. Kelly is guilty of multiple sexual, illegal acts against a 14-year-old girl,” he told reporters Friday. He said Foxx’s investigation was “very thorough … dedicated and methodical.”
Greenberg told CNN earlier this month he had not been notified of a grand jury. After being asked about the new tape, he said separately he and his colleagues were unaware of any new information involving Kelly.
CNN has seen the VHS tape that appears to show Kelly having sex with a girl who refers to her body parts as 14 years old.
Kelly’s attorney said he has not seen this video.
“We’ll deal with it in court,” Greenberg said.
The newly unearthed footage, which lasts 42 minutes and 45 seconds, is clear and explicit.
What is on the video mirrors some of the alleged acts for which Kelly was arrested in a child pornography case in 2002 when he was 35 and then acquitted six years later.
He has been sued by multiple women accusing him of having sex with them when they were underage. Most cases, with the exception of the trial where he was acquitted, have been settled out of court.
And while he is one of the most successful R&B acts in history, there has been a growing movement against him, including the #MuteRKelly campaign to stop his music being played.
In July 2017, BuzzFeed published an explosive article outlining allegations that Kelly was holding a group of adult women against their will as part of what some of their parents said was a “cult.”
Joycelyn Savage, one of the young women, denied those claims and asked her parents, via a video shared with TMZ, to stop speaking out about her relationship with Kelly.
In January, the release of a docuseries called “Surviving R. Kelly” on Lifetime television helped boost the public campaign against him.
In that series, women said they were kept in abusive sexual relationships.
Greenberg said the women accusing the singer have financial motivations.
“Everybody’s trying to profit off of R. Kelly,” he said.
CNN’s Sara Sidner reported from Chicago, and Steve Almasy reported and wrote from Atlanta. CNN’s Dave Alsup, Elizabeth Hartfield, Lisa Respers France, Brad Parks, Geneva Sands and Nicole Chavez contributed to this report.