R. Kelly has been charged with ten counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in a Chicago court. This may be the beginning of the end for Kelly, whose long career has been fraught with accusations of sexual abuse and pedophilia.
The singer's reputation was once again made a matter of public interest by the documentary "Surviving R. Kelly," which aired in January.
Attorney Michael Avenatti turned over a sex tape to the Cook County State Attorney's Office that depicted Kelly with a fourteen-year-old girl. The two of them apparently remark on the girl's age multiple times over forty minutes.
Two more women have given testimony about Kelly soliciting them for sex when they were minors. The women, now adults, say Kelly asked them for a threesome after a concert in the nineties when they were fifteen and sixteen years old. They claim he had sex with one of them.
Kelly's lawyer Steven Greenberg responded that the singer "denies that he has engaged in any illegal conduct, of any kind whatsoever."
The sentence carries a penalty of between three and seven years in prison.
These allegations are just the most recent, in a long and harrowing narrative of sexual abuse that spans virtually his entire career. He married the singer Aaliyah when she was only fifteen, claiming that he had believed her to be eighteen at the time. He was soon thereafter arrested for child pornography, over a tape that allegedly showed him urinating on a minor. He was acquitted in 2008.
He has, more recently, been accused of running a sex cult. He has been dropped by his record label.