The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office has charged singer R. Kelly with 11 new counts of criminal sexual abuse, The Chicago Tribune and The Chicago Sun-Times reported Thursday, bringing the total number of charges against him in Illinois up to 21.
The new charges resulted from an offense that allegedly took place in 2010. Because few details were made available, it’s not clear whether the victim from that case is new or one of the women from the 10 counts filed against him in February.
Details were not immediately available. However, four of the 11 new charges are listed as aggravated criminal sexual assault, a Class X felony that could land Kelly in prison for six to 30 years should he be convicted on any of them.
For about two decades, Robert Sylvester Kelly, 52, has faced multiple allegations of sexual abuse of women and girls, including sex with underage girls and accusations that he trapped female fans in a “sex cult” that cut them off from their families and subjected them to degrading abuse.
He has been tried for a sex crime only once, in Chicago, and was acquitted in 2008. Then, in January, a six-part film began airing on Lifetime, “Surviving R. Kelly,” in which scores of women came forward on camera to accuse Kelly of shocking abuse.
Saying she was “sickened” by the allegations, State’s Attorney Kim Foxx called a press conference in January to solicit accusers and witnesses to come forward. In February, she announced the state indictments of Kelly.
R. Kelly’s defense team has recently swelled from one attorney, Chicago lawyer Steve Greenberg, to six, including Nicole Blank Becker of Detroit, a former federal prosecutor of sex crimes who represents defendants accused of sex crimes.
However, it’s not clear how Kelly, who was briefly jailed in March for failure to pay more than $161,000 in overdue child support, is paying for his defense team.
“We’ll see what it is, and we’ll deal with it accordingly,” Greenberg told the Tribune Thursday of the new charges.