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R. Kelly Charged with 10 Counts of Aggravated Criminal Sex Abuse

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 21: R. Kelly performs at MSG Theater on November 21, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Jason Kempin/Getty Images
JOSHUA CAPLAN

Veteran R&B star R. Kelly on Friday morning was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in Cook County, Illinois, court documents show.

Kelly’s first court date is scheduled for March 8th, according to records. Prosecutors said the victims are between 13 and 16 years old.

While the singer’s attorney, Steven Greenberg, did not respond to comment from the Chicago Sun-Times, he has maintained his client is innocent.

According to the Sun-Times, prosecutors appealed to a judge Friday to “sign off on an arrest warrant for Kelly.”

The development comes after two women alleged in a Thursday press conference that the singer picked them out of a crowd at a Baltimore after-party in the mid-1990s when they were underage and had sex with one of the teens although she was under the influence of marijuana and alcohol and could not consent.

The women, Latresa Scaff and Rochelle Washington, joined lawyer Gloria Allred at a New York City news conference to tell their story publicly for the first time.

Their accusations come six weeks after a Lifetime documentary series, Surviving R. Kelly, took another look at old sexual misconduct allegations against the R&B star.

Kelly, whose legal name is Robert Kelly, has faced allegations of sexual misconduct with underage girls for decades and has denied them. The now 52-year-old was acquitted in 2008 of child pornography charges stemming from a sex tape he allegedly made with an underage girl.

Meanwhile, disgraced television lawyer Michael Avenatti claimed Friday he has evidence that R. Kelly and his “enablers” paid witnesses and others to “rig” the outcome of the R&B star’s 2008 trial, when he was acquitted on child pornography charges. Kelly has denied allegations of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years.

Avenatti said last week he gave the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office a videotape he says shows Kelly having sex with an underage girl.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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