Embattled R&B singer R. Kelly has been charged with additional, more serious criminal counts involving one of the four victims whom prosecutors contend he sexually abused years ago, according to court records and Kelly’s attorney.
The new 11-count indictment concerns a woman identified in charges only as J.P., who prosecutors have said met Kelly during his 2008 trial on child pornography charges and began having sexual contact with him the next year when she was only 16.
Kelly still faces separate indictments charging he sexually abused three other women — two of whom were also underage at the time.
The four most serious counts in Thursday’s indictment charge Kelly with aggravated criminal sexual assault — a Class X felony that could carry a prison sentence of six to 30 years on conviction. Previously, Kelly had faced charges that brought the potential of up to seven years in prison but left probation a possibility as well.
Kelly’s attorney, Steven Greenberg, confirmed that J.P. was one of the four alleged victims from when the singer was first charged in February.
“They’re more serious charges, but it doesn’t change the facts,” Greenberg said Thursday about the new indictment. “It doesn’t change how we’re going to approach the case.”
While prosecutors did not identify J.P., she has gone public with her accusations against Kelly, identifying herself as Jerhonda Pace.
Her story first aired in an August 2017 BuzzFeed article by Chicago-based journalist Jim DeRogatis, who has reported on allegations against Kelly for years, and her accusations were also part of an explosive Lifetime documentary series in January that revived interest in Kelly.
After the news broke Thursday of the new charges against Kelly, Pace confirmed on Twitter that the new counts involved her.
“His fans were livid when they saw ‘J.P’ on every count,” she tweeted in reference to Kelly. “They already started bothering me.”
The four counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault allege that in January 2010 Kelly forced himself on J.P. while physically battering her. He also threatened or endangered her life, the charges alleged.
Prosecutors have previously said that Kelly slapped and choked J.P. during their sexual encounters.
Kelly is due back in court next week to face the new indictment.
He had first been charged in February with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving J.P. and three other alleged victims — two of whom were also allegedly underage.
After surrendering to Chicago police, Kelly spent three nights in custody before a friend posted $100,000 — 10 percent of his $1 million bond — and he was released from Cook County Jail.
The singer, 52, whose legal name is Robert Kelly, pleaded not guilty to the charges he sexually abused the four alleged victims over a span of a dozen years.
At Kelly’s bond hearing in February, prosecutors alleged that Kelly tried to force oral sex on his 24-year-old hairdresser in 2003 while he was free on bond on the then-pending child pornography charges.
Among the other allegations laid out by prosecutors were that he carried on a yearlong sexual relationship with a girl he had met in 1998 when she was celebrating her 16th birthday and that he videotaped himself having sex with a young girl at his home in Olympia Fields in the late 1990s.
The charges come at a time of intensifying professional trouble for Kelly, who has been targeted by the social media movement #MuteRKelly that called on streaming services and radio stations to drop his music and concert promoters to stop booking him.
In a sensational trial in 2008, Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges alleging he filmed himself having sex with his goddaughter, a girl estimated to have been as young as 13.
The initial charges in February came in the wake of reporting in BuzzFeed and The New Yorker by DeRogatis and after damning allegations in a recent Lifetime documentary series.
Citing the “deeply, deeply disturbing” allegations raised in the documentary, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx made an unusual public plea in January for any Kelly accusers to come forward.
The six-hour documentary, “Surviving R. Kelly,” aired on the Lifetime channel and alleged that he has manipulated young women into joining a “sex cult,” forcing them to stay with him against their will and keeping them under his control. In the days after Foxx’s plea for help from alleged Kelly victims, her office was inundated with tips.