Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

R. Kelly Indicted On New Sexual Assault And Abuse Charges

Singer R. Kelly, appearing at a court hearing in Chicago on May 7.
E. Jason Wambsgans/Pool
Getty Images
Singer R. Kelly, appearing at a court hearing in Chicago on May 7.

On Thursday, prosecutors in Cook County, Ill., filed 11 more felony charges of sexual assault and sexual abuse against R&B singer R. Kelly. They include four counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, two counts of criminal sexual assault by force, two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse against an alleged victim between the ages of 13 and 16.

If convicted of the aggravated criminal sexual assault charges, Kelly faces six to 30 years of a mandatory sentence on each of those four charges. These are more serious charges than the ones that Cook County levied against Kelly in February.

However, it is unclear if the charges filed Thursday involve a newly discovered victim. The new filing refers to the alleged victim by the initials "J.P.", which are the same as one of the alleged victims named in the February indictment.

The time period chronicled in the Thursday indictment is January 2010; the three previous indictment charges related to "J.P." span May 2009 to Jan. 31, 2010. In the Thursday indictment, which member station WBEZ has posted in full, Kelly is accused of forcing oral and vaginal penetration on "J.P.," transmitting semen onto her body, using violence or threats against her, and endangering her life.

The February indictment includes three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse related to "J.P." It alleges oral and vaginal penetration of "J.P." as well as the transmission of semen on her body, but not the use of violence or threats, or of endangering her life.

In the past, both Kelly and his attorney Steve Greenberg have denied all allegations, which now span 25 years.

On Thursday, Greenberg did not immediately respond to NPR's request for comment. However, he did tweet an assertion:

"R. Kelly was NOT charged with a new case. He was recharged in an existing case, same alleged victim and time (a decade ago). It changes nothing"

In a follow-up tweet, Greenberg wrote:

"These are the same conduct, just charged differently, same alleged victim, same time frame, same facts. We expect the same results."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

Anastasia Tsioulcas is a reporter on NPR's Arts desk. She is intensely interested in the arts at the intersection of culture, politics, economics and identity, and primarily reports on music. Recently, she has extensively covered gender issues and #MeToo in the music industry, including backstage tumult and alleged secret deals in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against megastar singer Plácido Domingo; gender inequity issues at the Grammy Awards and the myriad accusations of sexual misconduct against singer R. Kelly.