At a bond hearing in Chicago, prosecutors revealed disturbing details of the allegations against entertainer R. Kelly, who is facing 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four women—three of whom were underage at the time of the reported incidents.
According to the New York Times, one of the four women is the same girl who reportedly appeared in a sex tape with the disgraced singer when she was 14; he was acquitted of child pornography charges stemming from that footage in 2008. Prosecutors have reportedly obtained a new tape showing Kelly having sex with this girl, in which she makes reference to being 14.
Another of the women is said to have met R. Kelly when she was 16 years old, while trying to obtain his autograph at the 2008 trial. The Times reports that her identification in court documents “matches the description” of Jerhonda Pace, who told Buzzfeed in 2017 that she had entered into a sexual relationship with the singer and accepted payment in turn for signing a non-disclosure agreement. Recent court documents allege that she told Kelly her age, and he invited her to his home in the suburbs of Chicago. They had sex several times over the course of nine months; the woman alleges that she left Kelly after he choked and slapped her during an argument. Prosecutors also say that she saved a shirt stained with Kelly’s semen, which she has turned over to the police.
The third woman, according to court documents, met Kelly at a restaurant in 1998, when she was 16 and he was 32. Kelly’s manager reportedly gave the girl a card with the singer’s phone number; the girl’s mother took it away, saying that her daughter was only a teenager. But the girl found the card and arranged to take a cab to Kelly’s studio after she was dropped off at school. Thus began a year-long sexual relationship, prosecutors say.
Only one woman involved in the new charges—Kelly’s former hairdresser—was an adult at the time of the alleged assault. In 2003, the singer reportedly confronted her with his pants down, and tried to force her to perform oral sex. When she refused, he masturbated and ejaculated on her shirt; DNA testing taken at the time revealed the semen to be Kelly’s.
Public scrutiny of Kelly’s misdeeds heightened in the wake of the #MeToo movement, with the hashtag #MuteRKelly demanding that streaming services and promoters distance themselves from the singer and his music. In July 2017, another Buzzfeed article detailed allegations that Kelly was holding women in a “cult” against their will. The documentary Surviving R. Kelly, which aired in the U.S. on Lifetime last month, featured women describing horrifying experiences with Kelly’s predatory behavior and sexual abuse, further galvanizing the case against him.
A judge has set Kelly’s bail at $1 million. He did not make the $100,000 bond payment, and consequently remained in jail on Sunday.
Read more at the New York Times.