COOK COUNTY, Ill. — Just hours after singer R. Kelly was charged with 10 counts of felony criminal sexual abuse, he turned himself in to Chicago police.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted Friday night that Kelly, whose legal name is Robert Kelly, was arrested at a precinct Friday night.
A judge granted the R&B singer bond set at $1 million.
Friday’s charges come after years of allegations directed at Kelly, accusing the now-52-year-old of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls. Through his lawyers, he has consistently denied them.
Some of the victims in the new charges against Kelly are between 13 and 16 years old, according to prosecutors.
Jurors acquitted Kelly of child pornography charges at a 2008 trial. Those charges stemmed from a video prosecutors alleged showed Kelly having sex with a girl as young as 13.
Attorney Michael Avenatti said last week that he recently gave Chicago prosecutors new video evidence of Kelly having sex with an underage girl.
On Friday, Avenatti seemed to announce the charges against Kelly with a two-word tweet: “It’s over.”
“After 25 years of serial sexual abuse and assault of underage girls, the day of reckoning for R. Kelly has arrived,” he wrote in a subsequent tweet.
On Friday, a Chicago judge authorized a no-bail arrest warrant for Kelly.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Nicole Carr learned how Atlanta accusers played a role in the investigation days before Friday's indictment against the singer.
Gerald Griggs, an Atlanta attorney for accusers against Kelly, said he and his clients pointed prosecutors toward more tape evidence and victims while they push for charges in Fulton County.
“We think that by giving the assistance we gave to Cook County, the district attorney, as well as information we continue to give to law enforcement entities, we are successful in securing at least this first indictment. We expect more to come,” Atlanta attorney Gerald Griggs said.
Griggs took a call from a top Chicago prosecutor early Friday.
"(I was told) just that there would be breaking news today and we should be prepared," Griggs said.
Hours later, the news broke that the singer was charged.
Griggs’ clients have also accused Kelly of sexual abuse in his former Johns Creek home.
Their stories, including the story of Jocelyn Savage’s parents, who said Kelly has kept their daughter from them for years, have been showcased in a recent docuseries that’s gained national attention.
"They provided the information that they’ve always provided, the information that people saw in the documentary, as well as the whereabouts about multiple tapes, but more importantly about potential victims and more accusers and the work that they’ve done," Griggs said.
Carr touched base with the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office on Friday to see if there was any movement in a local investigation.
They simply said there are no updates.
Channel 2's Justin Wilfon spoke with one of Kelly's alleged victims Friday night. Asante McGee said she feared that Kelly's arrest would be something that would never come.
“When I first heard the news, I started crying because it was tears of joy,” McGee said.
She told Wilfon that Kelly trapped her and abused her in a north Fulton County home six years ago.
“To know that we finally got an indictment after two decades, after him getting away with the allegations, it was a joyous moment for me,” McGee said. “Just knowing the things that he was doing to those young girls was really sickening.”
McGee told Wilfon that she was not a minor when she was involved with Kelly but said the sex tape allegation sounds familiar.
“When I was with him, I know he did record us, because there was an incident where me and the other girls were engaging in activities, and I looked out the corner of my eye and saw he had an iPad, and I was shocked,” McGee said.
McGee was also featured in the recent docuseries about the singer. She believes the allegations made by the women in that series led to the new charges against Kelly.
“There’s no way he will get away this time,” McGee said.
At the height of his career, Kelly became one of the top-selling recording artists of all time. He has won multiple Grammys, including for his hit song, “I Believe I Can Fly,” featured in the movie "Space Jam.”
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