• Friday, May 27, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

R Kelly associates charged with intimidating singer's accusers

  • Published at 01:29 am August 13th, 2020
R Kelly
Reuter-R Kelly walks inside the Criminal Court Building as he arrives for a hearing on eleven new counts of criminal sexual abuse, in Chicago, Illinois, US, on June 6, 2019 Reuters

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges

Federal prosecutors on Wednesday announced the arrests of three alleged associates of R Kelly, saying that they used harassment and threats to try to silence women accusing the disgraced singer of sex crimes.

For more than a year the artist born Robert Sylvester Kelly has been awaiting trial in several states for alleged wrongdoings including sex crimes against minors and child pornography.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges, which range across the states of Illinois, Minnesota and New York.

In filings released Wednesday, prosecutors say three members of the artist's circle -- Richard Arline Jr, Donnell Russell and Michael Williams -- have been engaged in separate bids to silence Kelly's accusers in the New York racketeering case against him through intimidation, harassment and bribery.

They say tactics have included the burning of a car outside a residence where one accuser was staying, threats to release sexually explicit photographs of one woman, and a scheme to compensate one accuser to the tune of $500,000 to influence her testimony.

"These crimes shock the conscience," said Homeland Security Special Agent in Charge Peter Fitzhugh in a statement. 

"The men charged today allegedly have shown that there is no line they will not cross to help Kelly avoid the consequences of his alleged crimes -- even if it means revictimizing his accusers."

Kelly faces federal charges in two separate cases -- in Chicago and in New York -- linked to his alleged sexual abuse of minors.

The singer known for hits like I Believe I Can Fly has a decades-long history of abuse allegations, especially of underage girls.

The Chicago federal charges say Kelly filmed himself having sex with minors and that he paid potential witnesses in his 2008 trial -- in which he was acquitted -- to ensure their silence.

He also faces bribery charges in New York that are believed to be linked to his marriage to the late singer Aaliyah when she was just 15 years old.

That charge expanded on an earlier New York indictment that includes racketeering, accusing Kelly of systematically recruiting girls for sex while touring and coercing them into sexual activity.

The artist is set for trial first in New York, with jury selection currently slated to being September 29.

Restrictions preventing in-person trials due to the coronavirus pandemic will likely see that date postponed.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail