Singer R Kelly’s legal problems appear to have gone from bad to a lot worse, with CNN reporting that he has been indicted by an Illinois grand jury on 11 new charges in his sexual assault and sexual abuse case — including four new felonies with maximum penalties of 30 years in prison.
The report cites a court document released Thursday.
“The charges range from aggravated criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual assault to aggravated criminal sexual abuse, the document says,” CNN reports. “A person convicted of aggravated criminal sexual assault can be sentenced to between six and 30 years in prison, according to Illinois law.”
The report quotes Darrell Johnson, identified as a crisis manager for Kelly, saying: “He still maintains his innocence and denies all accusations brought against him by [the alleged victim] in any state moving forward. He looks forward to a swift and speedy trial.”
Meanwhile, TMZ reports that the grand jury was hearing testimony that could lead to charges of obstruction of justice.
“One of the alleged victims testified Kelly’s team paid off witnesses to NOT testify in the 2008 trial … where Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges,” TMZ reports. “One of the families supposedly paid off by Kelly was the family of the alleged victim in the 2008 trial … his goddaughter. Prosecutors claimed the girl in a sex tape that was submitted into evidence was the goddaughter, but apparently, the jury wasn’t convinced … in no small part because she didn’t testify.
“The grand jury is keying into allegations Kelly and his team attempted to impact the outcome of the 2008 trial through witness intimidation and threats of bodily harm.”
The Illinois case is separate from two other probes into Kelly’s activities that are under way in the state of New York.