We love it when television is used for good, like in the case of R. Kelly and the many, many allegations about the Chicago-born singer and former basketball player that have come to light recently through the power of reality TV.
Well, now we’re seeing justice come though in the wake of those allegations, and things are looking serious for Kelly. Considering the man has been accused of sexual assault and other illegal acts since the 1990s, when he married a then-15-year-old Aaliyah Haughton (he was 28; her parents had the marriage annulled before her death in 2001) many in the industry feel as though it’s about time.
However you feel, it’s worth knowing that Kelly is going to have his day in court, now that an Illinois grand jury has indicted him on 11 new charges in his sexual assault and abuse case, four of which are classified as felonies and can come with a maximum prison sentence of 30 years.
These new charges stem from accusations brought against him by Jerhonda Pace, a 24-year-old who broke a nondisclosure agreement in 2017 when she revealed she and the singer met in 2008, when she was 15 and he was on trial for child pornography charges. She says they entered into a sexual relationship when she was 16.
“Yes, I am aware of the 11 new counts against R. Kelly. Yes, all new counts are related to my case,” Pace wrote on her Facebook page. “Yes, I know his fans are mad about it. Please, DO NOT contact me telling me how I’m wrong for pursuing criminal charges all of these years later. Blah! No matter how ‘wrong’ you think I am, the law is on my side, a MINOR at the time. Carry on.”
The 52-year-old denies, and has denied, all allegations against him for the past two decades, a fact that his crisis manager, Darrell Johnson, reiterated to CNN.
“He still maintains his innocence and denies all accusations brought against him by Jerhonda Pace in any state moving forward. He looks forward to a swift and speedy trial,” Johnson said.
Kelly was first arrested last February after he was charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse involving four women—three of whom were minors when the alleged abuse occurred.
According to Kelly’s lawyer, Steve Greenberg, these new charges are actually the same charges that Kelly was facing back in February, just charged differently. He took to Twitter to share as much.
#RKelly These are the same conduct, just charged differently, same alleged victim, same time frame, same facts. We expect the same results
— Steve Greenberg (@SGcrimlaw) May 30, 2019
Kelly has been out on bail since March after he was arrested a second time for failing to pay more than $160,000 in child support. Someone paid that sum on his behalf and he was released, but we’ll see him back in court to face these new charges on June 6.