American singer and songwriter R Kelly has been charged with 11 new counts of sexual assault in Illinois, United States and if proven, he may receive a sentence of at least 30 years, reported The Chicago Sun-Times.
According to the report, four of the 11 new charges are felony Class X counts and are considered the most serious outside of first-degree murder. The entertainer is facing the most serious charges as of yet in the case which was filed against him in February this year, with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four victims, three of which are underage minors. Kelly is supposed to appear in court on June 6 to face the new charges, but he is free right now after he paid a $1 million bond following his indictment.
Meanwhile, the publication added that court’s charging documents do not clarify if the new charges are in relation to the same victims, who Kelly allegedly assaulted in a 2010 incident. When contacted, Kelly’s lawyer Steve Greenberg refused to comment on the details, saying he hasn’t reviewed the court’s documents. But he added that they do not hold any importance. “We’ll see what the charges are, and we’ll proceed accordingly. I know this much: It’s old. They’re allegations from years ago,” he said.
The New York Post also reported that music critic Jim DeRogatis had reported the case 19 years ago but most news outlets had largely ignored the story when it came out. R Kelly has already denied all charges against him in an interview in March. While he is facing sexual assault allegations, he is also battling his former wife Andre Lee for a divorce and their child’s support payments, which weren’t up to date as ordered by the court.
The artist had to spend a short time in jail for being unable to pay more than $161,000 to his wife in child support payments. However, he was released later after his lawyer handed a $62,000 cheque to his wife after a hearing in Chicago earlier this month.
The hearing was the first public hearing in the former couple’s divorce case since the case was previously sealed by a judge. But now, Andrea’s motion to unseal the case has been approved by Cook County Judge Lori Rosen which makes all the proceedings of the case accessible to public.
“Ms. Kelly appreciates the fact that Mr Kelly is not going to have any special protection above and beyond what anyone else has. [If] he doesn’t take his responsibilities seriously, doesn’t comply with his obligations to his children, it’s going to get filed and people will know,” Andrea’s lawyer had said after the decision came out.