Will R. Kelly Go to Jail? If Found Guilty, He Could Face Up to 70 Years in Chicago Prison

R. Kelly was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in Illinois's Cook County Court on Friday, according to a Chicago Sun-Times Friday report. The charges related to the alleged sexual assault of four victims, three of which the Sun-Times said were between 13 and 16 years old.

A Chicago judge signed off on a warrant for the R&B singer's arrest.

The Class 2 felony charge carries a three- to seven-year sentence in the state of Illinois. If Kelly is found guilty on all 10 charges, he could face up to 70 years in prison. Kelly is expected to appear in a Chicago court regarding the charges on March 8, according to the report.

BREAKING: Embattled R&B superstar R. Kelly was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in Cook County Friday morning, records show. https://t.co/H7k2Ind5F7

— Chicago Sun-Times (@Suntimes) February 22, 2019

While unconfirmed, the charges likely stem from new evidence attorney Michael Avenatti gave to Kim Foxx, Chicago's Cook County state attorney. Avenatti said he received two VHS tapes that allegedly showed Kelly engaging in sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old girl. While the date of the videos was not released, Avenatti said the evidence fell within Chicago's statute of limitations.

Avenatti was one of the first to speak out about Kelly's charges. "After 25 years of serial sexual abuse and assault of underage girls, the day of reckoning for R Kelly has arrived," he wrote on Twitter Friday.

The charges were leveled after two more women accused the singer of sexually assaulting them when they were underage. Latresa Scaff and Rochelle Washington said they went to a Baltimore Kelly concert in 1995, visited Kelly's hotel room and were asked to perform sexual acts, according to a CBS Chicago report published Thursday.

Scaff and Washington, who were 16 and 15 at the time, told reporters that Kelly exposed his genitals to them. Scaff claimed Kelly "had sexual intercourse with me even though I did not have the capacity to consent." Washington said she ran and hid in the bathroom while Kelly and her friend allegedly engaged in sexual intercourse.

Gloria Allred, the lawyer for the women, noted that Kelly never asked the girls about their ages at the time of the assault.

The women are just two on a long list of Kelly accusers. The "I Believe I Can Fly" singer's history of alleged sexual abuse of women and young girls goes back to the early 1990s, when he married the late singer Aaliyah Haughton, who was 15 at the time. However, the attention surrounding accusations against him has skyrocketed following Lifetime's January docuseries Surviving R. Kelly, which featured dozens of women claiming to have been personally affected by Kelly's sexual misbehavior. The documentary included members of Kelly's inner circle who said they witnessed the award winner allegedly abusing women and girls.

Kelly has historically denied the allegations against him and always maintained his innocence. The 52-year-old also denied holding women against their will, a claim made by the family of Jocelyn Savage, among other girls, after the singer was accused of holding women hostage in a sex cult, according to a 2017 Buzzfeed report.

Kelly avoided a child pornography conviction in 2008 pertaining to his alleged involvement in a 2002 sex tape in which he appeared to urinate on and have intercourse with a girl believed to be 14 years old.

Avenatti said that the singer's team rigged the 2008 trial by intimidating and paying off witnesses.