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Opinion R. Kelly's sexual abuse indictment overdue

R. Kelly’s sexual abuse indictment overdue


Singer Robert Kelly was indicted on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, Friday, Feb. 22, following a no-bail arrest warrant, issued by a Chicago judge. After escaping 25 years of sexual misconduct allegations, 10 charges are finally sticking.  

As this is not the first time his actions have come to light, people are starting to question the truth behind his lyrics. Lines such as “My minds telling me know but my body…my body’s telling me yes, age ain’t nothing but a number, nothing wrong with a little bump and grind” has left listeners questioning if these are just a few meaningless lyrics from Kelly’s top chart hits or confessions of a guilty conscious.

The singer’s misconduct dates all the way back to 1994 when he allegedly married 15-year-old R&B singer Aaliyah. However, it did not end there. Less than a decade later in 2008 Kelly faced child pornography accusations following the release of a tape of a man engaging in sexual relations with a 14-year-old girl.

Kelly has spent the better half of his career dodging misconduct and abuse allegations by settling outside of the court room. Due to the amount of settlement money he’s paid over the years, his lawyer has reported that his finances are now “a mess”. The singer currently owes more than $174,000 in back rent as well as more than $161,000 in child support payments.

Kelly has been given until March 6th to make the payments and will be held in the Cook County Jail until they’re made.  In addition, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx reported at a press conference that the singer’s bond was set at $1 million at his hearing.

“The $1 million figure represented $250,000 for each of the four people the singer is accused of allegedly abusing,” Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke said.

According to USA Today report, Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, said that the charges being brought up against the singer have left Kelly “shell-shocked, extraordinarily disappointed and depressed”. According to a copy of the indictment obtained by USA TODAY, some of the charges resulted from videos that were apparently “newly discovered” by the singer’s attorney Michael Avenatti. The videos allegedly show Kelly engaging in sexual acts with the 14-year- old. The indictment also lists the four victims whom of which three were between the ages of 13 and 17 as well as a list alleged criminal acts by the singer dating back to 1998 when Kelly would have been 31.

After getting off on criminal acts for decades, Kelly’s past has finally caught up with him. Victims, colleagues, family members as well as organizations are all taking a stand against Kelly. Two women, Kenyette Barnes and Oronike Odeleye, have single handily put an end to the singer’s career by founding the #MuteRKelly organization in July of 2017.

This organization has been able to get scheduled performances cancelled and persuade radio stations to stop playing his music. But it didn’t end there. They are now currently trying to get streaming platforms such as Tidal and Pandora to remove his music from their library with the audio protest “ThumbItDown”.

Being that artists make most of their money off of streams and live performances, the success of this organization, as well as the years of hush money consistently being pushed out of the singers’ account,  the chances of him paying his way out of this scandal are slim to none.

photo courtesy NY Times

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