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It looks like R. Kelly might finally have to answer for the credible sexual assault, kidnapping and human trafficking allegations young women have been making against him for decades. All the allegations as well as witness accounts from survivors and commentary from others in the music industry have been thrust into the mainstream news like never before in a six-part docuseries on Lifetime called Surviving R. Kelly. 

Now, police are making appeals to the public for victims to come forward and a criminal case may already be in the works in Georgia.

Surviving R. Kelly details the systemic way Kelly allegedly groomed and lured in young black women with promises of helping them “make it” in the music industry. Women discuss how Kelly would then force them to move into one of his several houses (in L.A., Georgia and Chicago) where he would surveil them 24 hours a day, police their movements and force them into sexual situations. Many of the girls were underage at the time and those who were over 18 were just barely.

Chicago

Chicago State Attorney Kim Foxx called for anyone with information regarding the allegations against Kelly to come forward and cooperate with police.

“We cannot do anything related to these allegations without the cooperation of these victims,” Foxx said. “I am here today to encourage victims of sexual assault or domestic violence related to these allegations to please get in touch with our office. Please come forward.”

Foxx added that she found the allegations “deeply disturbing,” even sharing that they have a personal significance to her.

“I was sickened by the allegations,” she said. “I was sickened as a survivor, I was sickened as a mother, I was sickened as a prosecutor.”

Georgia

Gerald Griggs, lawyer of survivor Joycelyn Savage, told media he was contacted by the Fulton County District Attorney asking for a list of witnesses who could speak to events that occurred at Kelly’s house in an Atlanta, Georgia suburb in 2017.

TMZ is reporting that Asante McGee, another woman who escaped one of Kelly’s homes, was also contacted by investigators looking to build a case against the singer.

The docuseries aired over three days last week, and since then there has been mass outrage at the fact R. Kelly has been able to operate in the public eye for so long. Celebrities like John Legend, Jada Pinkett Smith (who both appear in the doc), Terry Crews, Jameela Jamil and Chance The Rapper have lent their voices to the causes of supporting survivors, calling for investigations and erasing Kelly’s music from the mainstream.

R. Kelly has been under investigation before — for child pornography, STD transmission and other crimes — with mixed results, but this time somehow feels different. The honesty, brutality and pain in the documentary has generated public discussion and outrage against R. Kelly at a level we haven’t seen. Previously, he was protected by the same systems and power structures that let Harvey Weinstein get away with serial sexual assault for decades. If people in his own industry are willing to turn against him now and the general public believes the women involved, this might be the beginning of the end.

Kelly’s attorney is still denying all allegations on behalf of the singer.

“There’s not gonna be any physical evidence, no confirmatory evidence,” he said. “People know how to call the cops. People call 911. Nobody’s done that because nothing has happened.”