A grand jury indicted singer Robert “R.” Kelly Wednesday (June 5) on 21 felony counts of child pornography, according to the Cook County state attorney’s office. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a $100,000 fine. If convicted, Kelly would have to register as a sex offender.
In February, a videotape was given to the Chicago Sun-Times, which in turn handed the tape over to the sex crimes unit of the Chicago police department. The tape in question – which has been bootlegged and sold across the country everywhere from the street corner and the Internet to such record stores as HMV – features a man who resembles Kelly engaging in sexual acts with four different women in four different locations. One of the women is alleged to be a minor.
On May 24, a 33-year-old dancer named Motina “Tina” Woods filed a lawsuit with the Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago for invasion of privacy. She alleges that Kelly secretly taped them having sex and is asking for $50,000 in damages.
While many of his fans and peers have seen the sex tape for which Kelly is being charged, the singer himself says he has not viewed it, and has proclaimed his innocence.
“There’s things that people have done in their lives that they regret, and I’m no different,” he told MTV News last month. “I’m a human being, and I want people to know that I’m no angel here but I’m no monster either. I’m no guy that would do this.”