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Singer R. Kelly has officially been charged with criminal sex abuse after a damning documentary released last month exposed decades of alleged misconduct, including sex with underage girls.
Prosecutors in Cook County, Illinois charged the singer, who's real name is Robert Kelly, with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse on Friday. The victims range in age from 13 to 16 years old, according to NBC News, though it’s not clear how many there are.
A judge signed off on a warrant for the singer’s arrest Friday afternoon, the network reports, though Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, told the Chicago Sun-Times that he hadn’t been notified of the charges.
Kelly’s due to appear in court March 8, according to records obtained by the paper.
News of the charges comes less than two weeks after another purported sex tape surfaced, and just one day after two new women, Rochelle Washington and Latresa Scaff, came forward with their stories of being subjected to sexual misconduct by Kelly when they were young teenagers. Washington and Scaff, both of whom are being represented by celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, told reporters during a press conference Thursday that they met Kelly at a party in the mid-90s, and he later asked them to have a threesome with him. Washington declined and Scaff agreed, but Scaff said that, looking back at the situation and how she’d been given drugs and marijuana by an adult, it made her feel “hurt.”
Kelly was previously tried on child pornography charges, but was acquitted in 2008.
Kelly’s alleged sexual misconduct captured national attention again in the wake of Lifetime’s shocking “Surviving R. Kelly” documentary. The hours-long look back at decades of allegations surrounding Kelly led many in the music industry to distance themselves from him.
Kelly has repeatedly denied all claims of sexual misconduct. Greenberg said last month that accusations that Kelly has knowingly been intimate with minors are “false.”
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