R. Kelly Charged with 11 New Counts of Sexual Assault and Abuse
R. Kelly was hit with 11 new counts of sexual assault charges Thursday by Cook County prosecutors, involving one of the women who previously accused him of sexually abusing her when she was underage, the Associated Press, Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune report.
It is not immediately clear whether the new counts are in addition to the existing charges, or replace some of them, though they add to the growing list of legal troubles facing the embattled singer.
The charges reportedly stem from a January 2010 incident involving one victim, and 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 a victim between the ages of 13 to 16.
The outlets report that the new felony counts come with a possible sentence of up to 30 years in prison, and that Kelly is due in court June 6.
“We’ll see what the charges are, and we’ll proceed accordingly,” his attorney Steve Greenberg told the Sun-Times. “I know this much: it’s old. They’re allegations from years ago.”
Greenberg elaborated on Twitter, writing: “#RKelly 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. These are the same conduct, just charged differently, same alleged victim, same time frame, same facts. We expect the same results.”
Neither a rep for Kelly nor a spokesperson for the Cook County State Attorney’s Office immediately returned PEOPLE’s request for comment.
The new charges against the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer, 52, come three months after he was hit with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse against four alleged victims, three of which were specifically referred to as under the age of 17.
The Chicago Sun-Times notes that the initials of the victim in the 2010 case match one of the four victims listed in the February charges.
An arrest warrant was issued for Kelly at the time, and he surrendered to Chicago police hours later.
He was released from jail three days later after paying 10 percent of his $1 million bail amount, the Cook County Sheriff confirmed to PEOPLE.
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According to the Associated Press, a judge told Kelly that the hefty sum represented $250,000 for each of his four alleged victims.
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.
He lost the lawsuit by default in April after neither he nor his lawyers filed an answer to the suit, or made an appearance in court.
“We don’t care about the lawsuit. The lawsuit means nothing to us,” Kelly’s publicist Darrell Johnson told the Sun-Times.
Kelly’s criminal lawyer Steve Greenberg told PEOPLE, “The lawsuit is ridiculous. It’s based on repressed memories. It’ll get vacated and we’ll be back to square one.”
In May, the default judgment was indeed vacated by Judge Moira Johnson, and will proceed with a new date of June 19, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Meanwhile, Kelly was also briefly jailed in early March following a child support hearing in Chicago.
The singer made headlines amid his legal trouble with an emotionally charged interview with Gayle King in early March in which he broke down in tears as he denied the allegations facing him.
“Forget how you feel about me! Hate me if you want to, love me if you want, but use your common sense!” he told King during the CBS This Morning interview. “How stupid would it be for me with my crazy past and what I’ve been through to be like, ‘Oh right now, I think I need to be a monster and hold girls against their will, chain ’em up in my basement and don’t let ’em eat and don’t let ’em out?’”