R. Kelly may soon be facing a new trial for sexually assaulting another 14-year-old girl
According to the New Yorker Magazine, an old videotape showing R.Kelly sexually assaulting an underage girl may soon land him in legal trouble.
According to Jim DeRogatis, the journalist who first broke the story which eventually led to the 2002 criminal trial of R.Kelly, Michael Avenatti, a high powered lawyer who previously represented the alleged Donald Trump mistress Stormy Daniels, is representing “multiple clients in connection with allegations of sexual assault of minors.” Avenetti’s investigation revealed a previously unseen sex tape that he has turned over to CNN and the police. According to sources familiar with the tape, both the girl in the video and R.Kelly can be heard referring to the girl’s genitalia as 14 years old.
Avenatti used Twitter to release a formal statement reading, “Due to the importance of ensuring justice is finally done in this matter and because we are deeply concerned that Mr. Kelly has not been held accountable for his sexual abuse of young African-American girls, whom are especially vulnerable, we have decided to do so on a pro-bono basis. Importantly, it has now resulted in the discovery of significant new evidence conclusively establishing Mr. Kelly’s illegal sexual assault of young girls.”
In response to press inquiries, attached is a stmt regarding our work on the R. Kelly matter since April, including the discovery of new critical video evidence establishing his guilt. We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that this predator is brought to justice. pic.twitter.com/D0dGFzgXlX
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) February 14, 2019
Avenatti claimed to have given a videotape to Cook County’s state attorney Kim Foxx, who has not commented on the matter publicly. But another law enforcement official told DeRogatis that an indictment is pending and that R.Kelly could be arrested soon.
After the explosion of the Surviving R.Kelly Lifetime docuseries, there has been renewed discussion of and attention paid to the past allegations of sexual violence surrounding the former R&B superstar. There have long been whispers that Kelly had more tapes besides the one that sparked charges of child porn in 2008. A witness in the 2008 case, Lisa Van Allen, testified about a black duffel bag that was filled with tapes and carried around by R.Kelly and his entourage.
Van Allen recently told DeRogatis “He carried it everywhere with him. Wherever he was at, the bag would follow… I just didn’t want that tape out there.” Van Allen also revealed that at the time of the investigation into Kelly in 2008, prosecutors did not seem all that interested in any other tapes, despite indications that their existence probably could have led to a conviction.
In 2017, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law SB189, which removed the statute of limitations on felony sex crimes and sex crimes against children. Before Rauner signed this legislation, victims had within 20 years of reaching the age of 18 to report the crime.