R&B artist R. Kelly turned himself to the Chicago Police Department yesterday, following a lengthy investigation by both the C.P.D. and the FBI over allegations of sexual misconduct — and kidnapping — brought forth by the families and former victims of Kelly. Now, Chicago Police have revealed his mugshot, as well as an update on the charges Kelly will face during an upcoming trial.
According to a statement released by the Chicago Police Department’s website, Kelly is facing one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse — a felony charge — and one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse with a minor aged 13-17.
Though speculation has surrounded the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer for years, a Lifetime docu-series which featured several former victims, families of his current victims, and Kelly’s ex-wife and business partners kicked this newest investigation into gear. The families of two women who are still in Kelly’s entourage, Azriel Clary and Joycelyn Savage, have relentlessly been working with the FBI and private investigators to bring charges against Kelly. Following a warrant for his arrest, Kelly turned himself in on February 22.
Rumors of a cult-like atmosphere in the Atlanta home as well as the Chicago studio owned by Kelly have circulated for decades. Sources close to Kelly — and his former victims — have said that Kelly controls the women in his life by denying them food and bathroom breaks — a control tactic that he uses to keep them from fleeing, and to get them to do whatever he commands.
Though some women have escaped Kelly’s grasps, the parents of Clary and Savage have been outspoken about Kelly’s unwillingness to let them speak to their children, and that they are still being held under his control.
According to Tia Ewing of Fox 25 Chicago, the families of both Clary and Savage have confirmed that their daughters were with Kelly at the time of his surrender. Timothy Savage shared a clip of his daughter exiting the vehicle that Kelly and his crew rode in to the Chicago Police station where he turned himself in.
“This is Joycelyn still being controlled by R. Kelly. I love you Joycelyn daddy (Tim Savage) gonna come get you soon,” he tweeted.
Back in 2008, Kelly faced similar charges — including 14 counts of child pornography — but was acquitted, as The New York Times reported. Since then, whispers of sexual abuse have surrounded the singer, but with the “Me Too” movement gaining traction, those who have been victimized by the singer and their families have started to voice their concern over whether or not Kelly should be walking free.
Moments after his arrest, Kelly’s former backup dancer, Stephanie “Sparkle” Edwards took to Instagram to share a video of herself looking somber, and exhausted, as music played in the background. She asked her fans to keep all of the victims in their prayers.
“I’ve been here before and there’s still a long way to go.. Hopefully, they get it right this time,” she added.