R&B singer and accused sex offender R. Kelly has been hit with 11 new felony charges, including three pertaining to the alleged sexual abuse of a minor. Kelly is due in court next week to address the new charges.
Combined these charges carry a potential sentence of up to 30 years in prison and is considered the most serious criminal implication Kelly has faced.
The new charges come after 52-year-old was indicted in February on ten counts of criminal sexual abuse against four alleged victims. The singer's attorney, Steve Greenberg, told The Sun-Times that he hadn't seen the filings yet.
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One of those four victims filed a civil sexual abuse lawsuit against the singer in February, claiming that he began abusing her in 1998, when she was 16, according to the Chicago Tribune. The additional charges are of lesser class with a max of seven years. He has pleaded not guilty to the original charges. The charges involved alleged criminal conduct from 1998 to 2010.
For example, Kelly abused a teen girl identified as R.L. between 1998 and 2001, prosecutors said.
Among other things, prosecutors allege that Mr Kelly used force or threatened to do so to pressure the accuser into sex or to perform oral sex on him. Thursday's 11 additional charges include one described as "the most serious class of felony in IL, short of murder", by Chicago Tribune reporter Megan Crepeau.
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A crisis manager for Kelly, Darrell Johnson, said, "He still maintains his innocence and denies all accusations brought against him by Jerhonda Pace in any state moving forward".
"Greenberg elaborated on Twitter, writing: "#RKelly was NOT charged with a new case. Yes, I know his fans are mad about it. After spending the weekend in jail because he arguably had trouble paying the $100,000 for bail, a woman friend of his posted his bond.
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